Thursday, August 1, 2013

Salmon Chowder, Northwest meets Southwest

I think of salmon as a northwest food. My favorite salmon hails from the Copper River in Alaska. Many US fishing companies store their salmon in Bellingham, Washington. And, so I was introduced to the venerable salmon when I lived in Washington. However, I first learned my cooking chops during time spent in Nevada and Arizona, so southwestern flavors find their way into many of my meals. This chowder is no exception. Northwestern salmon meets Southwestern flavors. Its a marriage made in heaven.


1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped red and/or yellow peppers
1 Anaheim chili, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membranes removed, minced
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 cob corn, kernels removed (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup diced potatoes
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried basil (or 1 Tbs fresh basil)
1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh oregano)
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 (7-1/2 oz) can salmon, flaked
1 Tbs whole wheat flour
1 Tbs chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp pepper (to taste)
extra basil leaves for garnish
chopped tomatoes for garnish

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, carrots, and corn, and potatoes. Add the spices, then add the wine and stock. Cook until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are cooked. Add the salmon. Mix the whole wheat flour together with 1 tablespoon of the stock to make a slurry. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the soup mixture, stirring as you pour. Cook the soup for another minute. Taste the soup, correcting the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve in soup bowls, garnishing with basil and tomatoes.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Here's a trick to get all the tasty corn flavors from a cob of corn. Hold the corn lengthwise in the pan. Use a knife to remove the rows of kernels. After all the kernels are removed, use the back of the knife to scrape the remaining "milk" from the corn cob. Tip number two - getting  omega 3 fish oils from salmon is all the rage these days.  But, fresh salmon, even in the Northwest, is expensive. Canned salmon is certainly an economical way to get  all the benefits of salmon without blowing your paycheck. You won't miss the taste of fresh salmon when it's part of a soup.

No comments: