Sunday, January 04, 2015

Resolution: Cod Chowder

I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions.  I know better.

I am making Cod Chowder.

In the crock pot, of course.  Which means that cooking starts early in the morning.  This seems so antithetical to the cooking dinner/supper just prior to eating same.  Here it is 7:30ish (AM) and the house if filled with the perfume of sauteed onions and garlic.  But I digress...

Here's how it all started...

I use a smaller crock pot.  Maybe its 2-quart, maybe just a bit more.

Now, did I mention crock pot liners?  Best thing since sliced bread or parchment paper.  (Tip: Put the box of liners in the clean crock pot before you put it away - help you to remember how glad you have them the next time you use the crock.)

So very simple...

1 can of sweet corn, drained (If I were making Corn Chowder I wouldn't even drain it.)
4 smaller carrots cut in 1/4 inch rounds.

Goes right in the crock...

3/4 cup diced onion, set aside for the moment.

6-7 Yukon Gold mini potatoes, quartered and then cut into 1/4 inch slices.  Rinse and dry the slices.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to shimmering (very hot)

Quickly brown the potatoes, just until they begin to show some caramel coloring, 2-3 minutes, tops.  As soon as they show add them to the carrots and corn in the crock.

In the same skillet melt two tablespoons of butter and sweat the diced onions with some garlic.  When they start to become translucent sprinkle in about 2 tablespoons of flour.  (I prefer Gold Medal Wondra for roux, but then I cheat at Pinochle too.  Oh!  Did I say that out loud.  Sorry.)

When the roux begins to color, beige approaching light tan, add 1 and 1/2 half pints of Half&Half.  Mix thoroughly and bring slowly, slowly to full bloom - this is just when the contents of the pan seems to instantly double in volume - immediately remove from the heat and add to the crock.

Set the crock to "Low" and mix the contents to insure even distribution.  Now wait.  How long?  I can't tell you.  You just have to wait.  My best guesstimation is 3-4 hours until the carrots are fully cooked.

Remember, if you get ahead of your meal schedule just turn the crock to "Keep Warm" and ... wait.

But don't wait forever.  There is still the Codfish.

I try to get the freshest possible seafood but here in the wilds of western Kentucky the only thing that you can really depend on is Catfish.  Everything else comes in from somewhere else.  If we aren't eating it that day in goes into the freezer.

About 45 - 60 minutes before meal time take the partially/mostly thawed Cod and rinse it vigorously under cold running water.  Then pat the fillet(s) as dry as possible.  Cut them into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes

Fold the Cod cubes into the soup stock (and don't forget to turn the crock back to "Low")

Occasionally gently fold the soup (do not stir - you don't want to break the Cod into small pieces.)

When you think things have gone long enough sample for done-ness.  The Cod should be firm and the carrots about the same.

Carefully ladle hot steaming Cod Chowder into bowls and garnish with chopped chive or green onions (some people call 'em Scallions, you know what I mean Joe?)


(Pictures to follow.)

. . .