Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 27, 2022

© Shawn Taylor

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Fennel-Roasted Seafood Chowder

Throughout the Maritimes, chowder recipes are numerous and are often well-guarded secrets. This one from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, calls for poaching the seafood, but I love the bolder flavours roasting imparts in this contemporary version, which has just a hint of cream.

¼ c. (60 ml) butter
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ c. (60 ml) all-purpose flour
6 c. (1.5 L) clam juice or fish stock
2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil
2 tsp. (10 ml) crushed fennel seeds or ground fennel
1 lb. (500 g) clams, scrubbed
1 lb. (500 g) mussels, scrubbed and debearded
½ lb. (250 g) salmon fillet, cubed
¼ c. (60 ml) whipping cream
2 tbsp. (30 ml) chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the potatoes, celery, carrot, onion and garlic until softened, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the clam juice; bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together the oil and fennel in a large roasting pan. Add the clams and place in a 500°F (260°C) oven for 5 minutes. Stir in the mussels and roast for 5 minutes. Add the salmon and return to the oven until the clams and mussels open, about 5 more minutes. Discard any that do not open.

Stir the contents of the roasting pan into the chowder. Stir in the cream and heat through, but do not boil. Stir in the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

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