It's chowder weather in much of the country, but here we're operating on memory. We're still in the triple digits but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a good bowl of creamy rich soup because after all, it is fall and if we're saving it for a cooler day, we'd be waiting till Christmas.
This particular version includes the standard onion, celery combination, cooked in a little bacon fat for added flavor then seasoned with thyme and loaded with potatoes, scallops, cod and cream of course. Thickened with crushed Ritz crackers and seasoned with dill before it hit the bowl, I even forced the big guy to taste it first before loading it up with Louisiana hot sauce.
Personally, I enjoyed the chowder's subtle dill flavor which allowed the seafood to really shine through and my "SO" agreed that he liked the flavors too, although who could really tell with all that red stuff on it. One of these days I'm going to hide that darn hot sauce and then step back and watch the doings. He's so addicted to the stuff I think we might need an intervention.
Seafood Chowder with Dill
3 slices of bacon, small dice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers
2 – 8 ounce bottles clam juice
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into half inch cubes
2 cups half and half
all purpose flour (optional)
1-1/2 pounds cod, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound sea scallops
1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped or 1 Tablespoon dried
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large pot over medium low and sauté bacon until it the fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove bacon from pan and reserve for another use. Add butter to bacon drippings, then add onion, celery and thyme. Sauté vegetables until they are soft (about 10 minutes). Stir in crushed crackers and cook for 1 more minute. Add clam juice and potatoes. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are cooked – about 15 minutes. Whisk milk and flour together, then add to the pot, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Add seafood and dill, stir well then cover pot and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes to cook seafood. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired. Serves 6. Download Seafood Chowder with Dill