Last week I didn’t meal plan. My husband was off for most of the week for our Anniversary (3 years of blissful marriage! Celebrated with dinner at our favourite local diner, a winter hike, an OHL hockey game and hanging out as a family at home) and I knew we’d be eating out, so I figured we would wing the meals we were home for. We had been watching a lot of The Food Network, specifically Diners Drive-ins and Dives (LOVE. THIS. SHOW! a little tip; don’t watch it if you are hungry!) They were hitting the east coast, checking out lots of little seafood places, and trying all different kinds of chowder. I love chowder. Any kind. New England or Manhattan. Clam, fish, or all kids of seafood in one bowl. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! So when Friday rolled around, I knew we’d be having fish for dinner (old school Catholic, no meat on Fridays in this house). I had 3 tilapia fillets in the freezer, but didn’t want to just pan fry them and have with rice. BORING! Than I remembered the show, and just knew I had to make fish chowder! I searched the interwebs, and couldn’t find a recipe that would work with the limited stuff we had in the house, so I made the recipe up! I took bits from a few different recipes, but really, it is a basic chowder:
¼ cup butter
1 large carrot, diced
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups water
5 medium potatoes, diced
3 fish fillets, cubed (I used tilapia)
1.5 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
Melt ¼ butter in dutch oven; saute carrots for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water (add a little more to cover potatoes if needed), onion powder, garlic powder, bring just to boil. Add potatoes, cook for 10 minutes. Add fish and lemon juice. Cook another 8-10 minutes. Add milk and cream, salt and pepper. Serve immediately, does not keep well so finish it up at once!
You could of course use an actual onion, I didn’t have one (which shocked me, who doesn’t have an onion in the house?) and if you prefer a thicker chowder, you will want to add some flour, as this makes a thin broth.
I loved mine with lots of black pepper and saltines crumbled on top, my husband covered his in grated cheddar and Franks red hot sauce, and our 15 month old enjoyed his with ketchup (we just gave him the chunks, no broth). It was really easy, quick to make (you don’t want to over cook the potatoes or the fish!), and it was way better than I thought it would be! Nothing is better than a hearty hot soup on a very cold winters day!