This Chowder is light, zesty, refreshing and hearty without being thick and gloopy. Its super fast to put together and can be rustled together in minutes as a light supper or starter.
For the recipe you can use any smoked fish or non-smoked fish if you prefer and can sub mussels or anything that takes your fancy from the fishmongers slab.
When picking your fish, try a lesser known fish, Gurnard, Ling, Coley. I feel the real trick to being sustainable is to just broaden our repertoire of our go to fish and seafood and therefore taking the attention away from the main catches that we always focus on.
We are an Island nation after all and should really be enjoying more of the local bounty that our sea’s offer up.
Serves: 4 People
- 3oz butter
- A splash of rapeseed oil
- 1 Large Shallot, chopped
- 1 celery stick, peeled and chopped
- 1 leek, cut in 1 inch slices ( rinse well)
- 12 baby potatoes,
- washed and quartered ½ fennel bulb,
- chopped 400ml full fat milk
- 2 bay leaves
- Small shallot studded with 6 cloves
- 200g smoked colie, skin removed 24 large cockles,
- rinsed Handful of chervil leaves Garnish with crushed up Garlic and lemon zest croutons
- Melt 1oz of the butter with a splash of oil in a large saucepan, add the shallot, celery, fennel, leek, potatoes and cook over a medium for 15 minutes until everything has slightly softened.
- Pour over 200ml water, bring to the boil, then turn down a simmer.
- Pour the milk into a wide saucepan and add the bay leaves, studded shallot. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and add the collie fillet whole and with skin on.
- Cook for 5 minutes, until the fish is just cooked. Take off the heat, remove the skin and pull the fish into large flakes. Put to one side.
- To the simmering vegetables, add your cockles and turn the heat up.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3min or until all the cockles are open. Take off the heat and discard 50% of the cockle shells and any unopen ones you might have, retain the meat.
- Pour in the milk and bring back to the boil for 2 min, Add 2oz or diced butter and stir gently. This will help thicken slightly.
- Add the flaked fish, cockle meat and season well. Let sit for 2 min so the fish warms through but don’t over stir so the flakes stay big
- Stir chervil leaves and serve In warm deep bowls Top with the crushed up Garlic and lemon zest croutons.
- Add another little fresh zest of lemon and serve immediately.
For the croutons
- Take one baguette and cut off all the outside
- Cut into 1-inch cubes
- Drizzle with a little rapeseed oil
- Season with fresh cracked white pepper and flaked Irish Sea Salt ( I love Achill Salt)
- Place in low oven for 20min or until golden and very hard ( no soft centre)
- Once out of the oven and still warm drizzle with some garlic oil and add some lemon zest
- Allow to cool Will keep well in an air-tight container out of the fridge for up to one week For the garlic oil
- Smash 4 cloves of garlic with sea salt and flat of a knife.
- Cover with rapeseed oil and a low to infuse.