Try turning your walleye catches into a thick and savory chowder….with BACON!
Beaucoup Seafood Chowder
recipe: adapted slightly from Rosie Beaucoup, original source lost at sea
- 1/4 pound of butter (1/2 cup, or one stick)
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 potato (no more), diced
- about 3 cups chicken broth or water* – see notes below
- 1 tablespoon each of dried basil, oregano, and celery salt
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional, I leave it out)
- three dashes Tabasco sauce
- about 2 litres of milk – homogenized
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 lb (or more) walleye
- 1 lb (or more) shellfish – fresh or frozen scallops or lobster. I strongly recommend using both scallops and lobster – I never use anything else. I use already-cooked lobster, and most often both my scallops and lobster have been frozen. Don’t use any fish with a dominant flavour such as salmon, sardines, clams, etc.
For this recipe, I always use at least a pound of haddock and/or cod, a small package of frozen small-sized scallops and a can of frozen lobster knuckles and claws. The lobster has already been cooked. I think the sweet scallops and lobster really make this chowder.
In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter and then sauté the onions and celery over medium heat – allow them to soften a little – just a few minutes. Add the potato and add only enough chicken broth (or water) to barely cover. Cook until the potato is just barely tender. Add the basil, oregano, celery salt, pepper, salt (if using), paprika and Tabasco sauce. It will seem like a lot of spices, don’t worry.
Layer the fish and shellfish on top. Add just enough chicken broth (or water) to cover. Cook only until fish barely flakes.
Add the cream, and then fill the pot with the milk. If you think you’re going to run out of room in the pot, skimp on the milk, not the cream. My Dutch oven is standard-sized, and there is plenty of room.
Allow the chowder to warm through. Keep on a bare simmer until serving or refrigerate and slowly heat up before serving. Sprinkle with freshly-cooked bacon pieces.
Water is traditionally used in chowders such as this, and will taste just fine if you opt for that instead of broth. If using broth, as I do, I recommend using a sodium reduced variety (I use one of those 900 ml tetra paks) – if you find it’s not enough, you can make up the difference with water. The chicken broth adds just a bit of richness to the chowder.