Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Smoked Salmon Chowder

This delicious chowder has become our traditional Christmas Eve dinner dish.  Savory, hearty, with a subtle hint of tarragon ... it's a real keeper.  I've tweaked it a bit and see that I've written "perfect" on its page in the cookbook.
Adapted from Soups and Stews by Maryana Vollstedt

Do make this a day ahead of time and chill so the flavors can blend.  Stir in the half-and-half when heating to serve.  You can leave out the half-and-half and still have a delectable, creamy chowder.

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock
2 cups bottled clam broth
2 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut in half-inch dice
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon paprika

10 ounces smoked salmon, from Northwest Seafood Market, skin removed and flaked
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 drops Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half (or mixed Pure Eire milk and cream), optional

In large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter with oil.  Add onion and celery and saute until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir.  Add stock and stir until slightly thickened.  Add potatoes, tarragon, thyme, dill and paprkia.  Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add salmon, garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper and wine.  Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.  Add half-and-half and simmer over low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.

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