Ireland is very fortunate to have such an abundance of fresh seafood - so important as part of a varied and healthy diet. I love to experiment with new recipes, but I still come back to old favourites like fish chowder. I fell in love with seafood chowder on a wet October weekend in Doolin when I moved to Ireland many years ago. I use this basic mixture in several different ways - delish over a baked potato too!


  • 50 g butter
  • 2 leeks, sliced lengthways and then into half moons, rinsed
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tblsp plain flour
  • 2 small potatoes (cut into 1cm pieces)
  • 250 ml milk
  • 125 ml cream
  • 450 g firm white fish fillets (cut into 2cm pieces)
  • 150 g smoked cod or haddock (cut into 2cm pieces)
  • 150 g raw shelled, veined prawns
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 sheets ready rolled shortcrust pastry
  • 2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  • Melt butter in a large saucepan and cook the leeks, carrots and garlic for 4 minutes.
  • Add the flour and stir well for 1 minute. Mix the cream and milk and gradually pour in, stirring all the time. Add the potatoes, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer with the lid on for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the fish and prawns and poach for 2 minutes, take off the heat.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease and flour a 6 hole texas muffin tray (180ml capacity). Or you can use individual pie dishes.
  • Cut out 12cm rounds from the shortcrust pastry and press into the pan holes. Brush the edges with a little eggwash.
  • Mix the chives gently into the chowder and divide the mixture among the pastry cases.
  • Cut 9cm rounds from the puff pastry and cover the chowder pies. Press the edges firmly to seal and brush the tops with the remaining egg. Cut a small slit in the lid of each pie.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes. Stand in the pan for 5 minutes before serving with brown soda bread.

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