Former Bostonian Ricki Way, who now lives in El Paso, Texas, sent this creamy chowder to The Recipe Box Project. “My mother, Millie Heeley, and I, both worked at the Boston Army Base on the wharf and often had lunch together at Jimmy’s Harborside restaurant,” she writes. Way, 70, married and found herself living overseas. “I wrote to Jimmy’s to request the recipe for their halibut au gratin and for their chowder, to remind me of home. They did not have the halibut au gratin broken down for home use, but were kind enough to share their chowder.” This thick bowl, with smoky overtones from bacon, begins with a whole haddock, which is simmered in water. The warm flesh peels away easily from the bones. Then the boneless fish is returned to the cooking liquid with milk and light cream. Do your best to remove all the bones, but a few small ones may escape detection, so sip the chowder with care. You can also use prepared fish stock (or clam broth diluted with water) and skinless, boneless haddock (you’ll need 2 pounds).
|1||whole haddock or other white fish (4 to 5 pounds), scaled and cut into
3 pieces, including the head
|3||all-purpose potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces|
|4||slices bacon, cut into
|1||onion, coarsely chopped|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1||cup light cream|
|2||tablespoons chopped fresh chives|
1. In a stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the fish and water. Bring to boil and skim the surface thoroughly. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
2. Set a colander over a large bowl. Line the colander with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Carefully pour the soup and fish through the colander into the bowl. Return the soup to the pot.
3. When the fish is cool enough to handle but still warm, remove and discard the bones and skin, keeping large chunks of the flesh intact. Place the fish in a large bowl.
4. Add the potatoes to the cooking liquid and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or until they are tender. Return the fish to the pot and stir gently to distribute it.
5. In a skillet over medium-high heat, render the bacon, stirring often, until golden. With a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Reserve the fat in the pan.
6. Add the onion, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onion, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the flour begins to brown.
7. In a heatproof measuring pitcher, combine the cream and milk and heat in the microwave for 1 minute or until just warm. Pour the cream into the onion mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
8. Add the onion mixture and bacon to the fish mixture and stir gently. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until the soup is hot. Do not let it come to a boil or it will curdle. Add more milk or cream if the soup seems thick. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with paprika and chives.
Adapted from Ricki Way and Jimmy’s Harborside restaurant
We are always looking for the dishes that have become
favorites on your table. Send them with the story behind them to firstname.lastname@example.org.