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Mussel Chowder with Salmon & New Potatoes

July 15, 2012

I’ve been wanting to try a mussel chowder since tasting the chowder at Shaw’s, Brackley Beach, PEI. It was the best chowder I’ve ever tasted. One thing that set it apart was the preparation of the fish. The salmon had a very nice sear and was done perfectly. With chowders in the past I’ve allowed the fish to overcook by just throwing it in the stock (sometimes sautéd ahead of times, sometimes not).

With the first new potatoes of the season, it seemed like a good time to try a chowder. This didn’t really come out the way I wanted, but we still thought it was good. What makes it is the fish stock–it really would be worth your while to take some time one weekend morning to make some of this up and freeze it.

Originally I had wanted to work on this some more before posting. But I’ve been getting subtle hints lately from coworkers about the blog’s inactivity, and I need something written down as a benchmark so I know where to start from next time. So we’ll consider this another work in progress, and certainly worth the effort.

Mussel Chowder with Salmon & New Potatoes

3 tbsp butter
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
about 3 medium or 4 small new potatoes, washed but not peeled, diced
salt and fresh-ground pepper
4 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 salmon filet, about 1/2 lb.
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb mussels
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 bunch parsley, for serving

1. Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook for about a minute. Add the garlic and cook another thirty seconds, stirring. Add the celery and potatoes and season with the salt and pepper. Cook about another five minutes, stirring.

2. Add the stock and the bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until the potatoes are almost cooked through (depending on the size of your dice, this should be 15 minutes or less).

3. Meanwhile, prep the mussels by rinsing them in cold water, trimming any beards, and discarding any mussels that won’t close after you tap them on the counter or submerge them in cold water.

4. While you’re still waiting on the potatoes, prepare the salmon. Heat a frying pan to medium-high; add the olive oil. Cook the fish 2-3 minutes a side, then remove. Allow the filet to sit a cool, then cut it into bite-size pieces. It’s okay if it’s not quite done, you can finish cooking it in the broth in a moment.

5. Once the potatoes are done, add the mussels and cover. Stir once in a while and steam until the mussels are completely open, the meat is firm and easily pulls apart from the shell (about 8 minutes). Add the chopped salmon and stir. Add the cream and milk and heat until the soup is simmering. Serve with chopped parsley.

  1. This chowder was SO delicious!

    • I want to try it again soon. So, I guess that’s good news for you? 😉

      Notice I made no mention of the bacon in the recipe. I really don’t think it was necessary.

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