Enough of fog and rain and cold. I’m joining a planeload of Canadian Snowbirds winging our way to Jamaica for a little sunshine and some honest fish jerk.
But some of you asked if I couldn’t get Duncan Smith’s award-winning chowder recipe. Duncan was too busy sucking up a Molson or two while celebrating his victory to lucidly give me the recipe but his boss at the Claddagh Oyster House in Charlottetown, Liam Dolan, graciously passed it along.
“Just Like Dad’s Seafood Chowder”
1/4 lb. (one stick) butter
7 oz. diced onions
4 oz. diced celery
4 oz. diced carrots
4 oz. diced red peppers
2 oz. flour
16 oz. diced PEI Russet potatoes
3 litres of whole milk or half-and-half
1 litre of fish stock
3 lbs. of chowder fish, including any combination of halibut, haddock, salmon, scallops, lobster, crab, mussels, and oysters.
2 oz. chopped chives
5 oz. Triple Sec
salt and pepper to taste
Place butter in pot over low heat and melt. When butter begins to foam, add onions, celery, carrots, and red peppers and gently sauté until onions are translucent but not browned. Add flour and cook roux for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add potatoes and milk or cream in increments, bringing the mixture up slowly, never letting it boil.
Put fish in a pot and put enough water in just to cover and poach for 4 or 5 minutes—just until cooked through but not rubbery. Steam shellfish (adding garlic, white wine, and thyme to pot if so desired); reserve juice and add to poached seafood liquid after removing fish.
Add seafood and shellfish to milk mixture along with fish stock and bring to a simmer. Add Triple Sec and taste for salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped chives.