Cheery Chowder

Seafood Chowder

Let there be no doubt about it: I love seafood chowder. If I see it on a menu anywhere I have to try it. It's my adventure, my search for a culinary holy grail. Sometimes I am very pleased with what I eat, sometimes I am very disappointed. Recently I was having a quick lunch in a hotel bar in Waterford. Seafood chowder was on the menu and I ordered it, only to be advised that it would take twelve minutes to cook, too long to wait if I wanted to catch my train. I made do with a very disappointing tomato and fennel soup. Let's just say if you have ordered a soup with tomato as the main ingredient, you would expect fresh tomatoes rather than canned ones.

So, back to my own little chowder venture on the 15th February. Still trying to get value out of our various cookery books, I picked on one I bought a few years ago: Complete Comfort Food edited by Bridget Jones. (I used it last weekend to make boeuf bourguignon and key lime pie for the spouse's birthday lunch so knew I'd be in safe hands.)

Ingredients: canned sweetcorn, milk, butter, garlic, smoked streaky bacon, a red pepper, celery, long grain rice, flour, stock, white fish fillet, parsley, scallops, cayenne pepper and cream.

Preparation included the usual slicing and dicing; even the white parts of the scallops had to be sliced. I also liquidised half of the sweet corn. The cooking process involved frying the leek, garlic and bacon first, then in went the pepper and celery. Next in was the rice, followed by the milk and stock (home-made), then the corn (liquidised and whole kernels together). I left the mixture to simmer for twenty minutes, after which I added the fish (the spouse had bought hake) and the white parts of the scallops. After a few minutes the corals and parsley went in with a good pinch of cayenne. The final addition was the cream and then it was time to call the boys.

We sat down with our bowls of chowder and ate. "Fair decent," pronounced the older offspring. We all
liked it. The spouse agreed with me that a drop of white wine in the mixture would have improved. That said, I've added it to the "make again" list.

Bee My Valentine 

As well as chowder, I like corny puns. I also like finding links to poems about bees. So for the weekend's that's in it, here is something I found via the Bee Hexagon website:

Your love has penetrated all within me
Like honey plunged into water,
Like an odour which penetrates spices. 

From Love Songs of the New Kingdom, translated by John L Foster from the ancient Egyptian.

Until next time,



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