seafood chowder

Seafood chowder.jpg

So comforting and filling, chowder makes the perfect cold night feel-good food! You can use whatever fish you like, replace the mussels with pipi or clams, or add scallops. Choose your favourite seafood to make it special for you.  
 
Time: 15 minutes preparation | 25 minutes cooking   
Serves: 6 
 
For the chowder 
1 tablespoon butter 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
3 rashers free-range streaky bacon, cut into small slices 
1 onion, finely diced 
1 clove garlic, crushed 
1 carrot, finely diced 

So comforting and filling, chowder makes the perfect cold night feel-good food! You can use whatever fish you like, replace the mussels with pipi or clams, or add scallops. Choose your favourite seafood to make it special for you.  
 
Time: 15 minutes preparation | 25 minutes cooking   
Serves: 6 
 
For the chowder 
1 tablespoon butter 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
3 rashers free-range streaky bacon, cut into small slices 
1 onion, finely diced 
1 clove garlic, crushed 
1 carrot, finely diced 
2 celery stalks, finely diced 
2 tablespoons flour  
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)  
1 litre (4 cups) fish or chicken stock 
5 small (330g / 11oz) new baby potatoes, quartered  
250ml (1 cup) cream 
18 mussels, scrubbed and debearded* + a few extra in case some don’t open 
12 raw prawns, tails on  
400g (14oz) fish (I use Tarakihi), cut into bite-sized chunks 
1 lemon – juice  
 
To serve 
Parsley, chopped 
Buttered crusty white bread 

 
In a large pot heat the butter and olive oil over high heat. When hot and sizzling, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, without letting it go crispy. Reduce the heat to a medium/high and then add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery, with a good pinch of salt, and cook, stirring regularly, for 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and cayenne pepper (if using) and cook for 1 minute.   
 
Pour in the stock and add the potatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce temperature to medium heat and then simmer for 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If you want your chowder to be thick and creamy, once the potatoes are done scoop out 4 ladles of the chowder into a blender, making sure there are a few potatoes in there, as it is the potatoes that will thicken it. Blend until smooth, then add back to the chowder and stir well.  
 
Increase the heat to a medium/high. Add the cream, mussels and prawns and cook, covered, for 4 minutes, or until the mussels begin to open. Add the fish and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until cooked (depends on the thickness of the fish). Taste and season with salt, pepper and a little lemon juice. If the chowder is too thick you can thin it out with a little water or milk.  
 
Ladle into bowls (each person should get 2 prawns and 3 mussels), top with parsley, and serve with bread. If there are any mussels that have not opened, you can cover the pot and continue to cook them over high heat for a further 2 minutes. If they still do not open, discard them – see note below. 
 
 
*A general rule of thumb when using mussels safe for eating; any mussels that are open BEFORE they have been cooked, discard them. Once cooked, if there are any mussels that have not opened and have remained closed, discard them.