Luxury Seafood Chowder
Recipe courtesy of The Lobster Pot, Carne, Co. Wexford. This chowder can be prepared in advance on the day you plan to serve it, then cooled and chilled until needed. Simply warm through gently before serving. The Lobster Pot uses cubes of undyed smoked haddock, fresh salmon fillet and monkfish with cooked mussel meat, baby squid and cooked peeled prawns but you can, of course, experiment with your own selection. Don’t be tempted to use oil-rich fish like smoked mackerel or smoked salmon as they are too strong and will spoil the balance of flavour.
Servings:4 - 6
- 1 courgette, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 300ml/1/2 pint dry white wine
- 900ml/11/2 pints milk
- 300ml/1/2 pint fish stock
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 2 whole peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 75g/3oz unsalted butter
- 75g/3oz plain flour
- 250g/9oz selection of prepared seafood (see introduction)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
- Place the onion, courgette and carrots in a pan with the wine and, if necessary, some water, until just covered. Cover and simmer gently for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
- Meanwhile, make a béchamel sauce base for the soup: Warm the milk and fish stock through in a pan with the onion, peppercorns and bay leaf until just coming to the boil.
- In a separate large pan, melt the butter and then gradually stir in the flour to make a roux. Remove from the heat. Strain the warmed milk and stock through a fine sieve into the roux mixture, a little at a time, stirring continuously until all the liquid is added and the mixture is completely smooth.
- Return the pan to a gentle heat and simmer for about 4-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened, stirring constantly.
- Add the cooked vegetables and any remaining liquid into the sauce. Gently stir in the fish and seafood and cook gently on a low heat for 3-4 minutes until all the fish is just cooked and the shellfish is heated through.
- Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately with the brown soda bread slices.