One of the pitfalls of raising a mini-foodie, is that you sometimes have things like “Hmmm…it’s good but it needs a pinch of salt!” thrown your way. Either Ria is just copying what I often say, or her palate is getting pretty good. I made a fish chowder for dinner recently and it was a tad low on salt, but aside from that perfectly delicious. I still haven’t figured out if she was emulating me or expressing her true opinion. Though I must admit it is pretty jarring to have things you say, in the tone you say them in, thrown back at you like that. Many more to come, I am sure, and probably not just in the food sphere.
I am always looking for new ways to sneak in more seafood into our diet and this recipe should have made the rotation years ago. (with the bacon pulled out, and mashed up, it is pretty young toddler friendly). Ria quite fancies fish and clams but cannot really handle much else. We have tried prawns, squid and crab with little success and oysters I am not even bothering with because I don’t like them (too snot-like-looking :) ).
This dish though anyone will be able to handle making and I am pretty sure the kids will enjoy it. Use chicken stock/water rather than fish stock if you are worried about over-“fishiness” for the little ones. I am already thinking of how to spice this up next time I make it. Ria, true to her Indian roots ate it like a curry with rice! Crusty bread (and nice white wine) is probably a better accompaniment.
Fish Chowder from Williams-Sonoma
- 2 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
- 1 leek, halved, rinsed and sliced (I used shallots/onions)
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 cups fish stock or water (I used chicken stock)
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 lb. cod or other firm white-fleshed fish fillets,
pin bones removed and fillets cut into bite-size
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- In a Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it renders most of its fat but is not crisp, about 4 minutes
- Add the leek and potato and cook, stirring frequently, until the leek softens, 6 to 8 minutes. (Adjust the heat as needed so the vegetables do not brown or stick.)
- Add the stock, the 1/2 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper to the pan and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes
- Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. Add the fish and milk to the pan and cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the fish easily flakes apart, about 10 minutes
- Season as needed and serve