It’s salmon season here in the Pacific Northwest, and what a glorious season that is. It’s like Christmas for a seafood/salmon lover. We’re spoiled in this part of the country. Short of living in Alaska, you won’t find a fresher selection of the bright pink, meaty fish. A relative of mine who lives here once told me he will never eat salmon outside this region again, and I’m now thoroughly convinced he’s on to something. Call it salmon snobbery, but there’s something to be said about knowing that your fish was just plucked from the icy Pacific waters shortly before it landed on your plate.
I have to thank my mom for inspiring me with this recipe. Ever since I started cooking and blogging, she’s been sending me recipe ideas via e-mail and snail mail. This was one of them. It was great timing too! Fresh salmon is starting to become abundant right now in the markets. There are signs all over my grocery store, and when I saw a sign – way in the distance – that literally pointed me toward the newest batch of smoked salmon, I knew it was fate. I had to make this recipe tonight! It reminds me of an Alaskan cruise I took with my family years ago. I can’t tell you how many salmon bakes we went on. I thought it was overkill at the time, but now it’s become a precious memory.
So, check out the “catch of the day.” Ain’t she a a beauty:
It was about $12 for 8 ounces of smoked salmon. A little on the steep side, but not outrageous I don’t think. It comes pre-sliced and it’s already cooked so no additional hassle!
Next, time to chop up the vegetables and get those cooking. I used onions, celery, potato, and a can of corn.
Everyone goes in the pool. I also used spices like thyme, a little dill, chives, cilantro, pepper and a little salt (not too much though, the salmon is salty enough!)
I just gave the salmon a course chop before tossing it in. It holds together quite well.
The simmering process begins! I added some flour to thicken the chowder a bit since I didn’t use the “heavy cream” as instructed. I used half and half and milk.
Alert, Alert! Insert the most important touch here! A glass of crisp, white wine and crusty bread. It’s the little bells and whistles that make a perfect meal!
A thing of beauty and a dinner to die for! I’m pretty proud of this one. Momma knows best! FULL RECIPE BELOW!
Sometimes the best part of cooking isn’t eating what you’ve made, it’s the actual process of making your meal. That’s especially true when you’re surrounded by family and friends, or jamming to music while you slice and dice, or sipping a glass of wine while you sauté. I’ve found cooking has become quite relaxing when you have all the time in the world to do it on your day off.
On that note, I wanted to share some of the things that lent a little love to my culinary process today:
SMOKED SALMON CHOWDER
8 oz Smoked Salmon
1 Russet Potato (diced)
3 Celery Stalks (chopped)
1/2 cup Onion (diced)
Clove of Garlic (chopped)
Tablespoon of Olive Oil
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 14 oz can of corn
2 Cups Milk (any fat content)
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Small handful of cilantro (chopped)
2-3 tablespoons of flour for thickening
1. Heat oil in cooking pot over low heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté 2 minutes.
2. Add potato, celery, and pepper. Cook over med. heat 1 minute.
3. Add broth and corn and simmer about 15 minutes until potato is tender.
4. Add milk, coarsely chopped salmon, dill, chives, and thyme. Simmer 5-7 minutes
5. Add flour and mix until it’s dissolved.
6. Add heavy cream and cilantro. Simmer another 3-4 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.