What better way to get through cold winter days than with a warm, delicious chowder?
As you know, Flannista can cook three things: a Thanksgiving turkey, grilled ribeye and popcorn. But now she must add Sass Chowder (really called "Lox Chowder"), the recipe for which appeared in the February 17, 2013 issue of the New York Times magazine. The Sassistas! made it last Sunday afternoon and it was WONderful.
Here are the ingredients:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium leek, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 large, starchy potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1.5 cups chicken stock, either homemade or low-sodium
1 bay leaf
2 cups whole milk
4 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
3/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Fresh chives, minced, for garnish
The Sassistas! substituted fat-free milk for whole milk. Half-and-half can be substituted for heavy cream. It pays to spring for the fresh thyme leaves and fresh chives. The total cost of the ingredients was about $15.00 -- of which $7.00 was for the smoked salmon.
1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium heat. Add leek, carrot and celery, and cook until the vegetables have softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, potato and thyme, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, an additional 2 or 3 minutes.
2. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and stir to combine, then cook, stirring often, for approximately 5 minutes, making sure not to scorch the bottom of the pan.
3. Add the wine, chicken stock, sequester and bay leaf, and bring mixture to a simmer. After 10 minutes or so, stir in the milk, and return to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 25 minutes. Add the salmon and stir gently, allowing the fish to warm, but making sure that the mixture does not boil.
4. Remove the sequester and bay leaf and discard. Add the cream, then stir to combine and heat through. Season to taste with pepper. Garnish with minced chives.
The recipe makes 4 large servings or 6 smaller servings.
Many chowders add bacon, but the smoked salmon adds salty perfection.