Recipe courtesy Jasper White. Serves 6.
4 oz slab bacon, 1/3-inch dice
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery ribs, 1/3-inch dice
1 lg onion, coarsely chopped
1 lg jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 qt Rich Fish Stock (recipe follows)
3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3-inch thick
1 lb plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded & diced
Salt & freshly ground pepper
2 lbs bluefish fillets, cut to 2-inch pcs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
- In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook bacon over low until crisp, about 6 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tbsp fat.
- Add butter and garlic and cook over low until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add celery, onion and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.
- Add fish stock, corn and potatoes and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Boil until potatoes begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Mash a few of the potato slices against the side of the casserole to thicken the soup. Add tomatoes and season with salt & pepper.
- Add the fish and cook over low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Gently stir in the cream and basil and serve.
- Make ahead: Can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Bring the chowder to a simmer before proceeding.
Rich Fish Stock (makes about 2 qts)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 celery ribs, 2 onions & 2 carrots, all thinly sliced crosswise
2 bay leaves
6 to 8 thyme sprigs
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
4 lbs non-oily fish bones, heads and trimmings, rinsed well
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 cups very hot tap water
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add celery, onions, carrots, bay leaves, thyme, parsley & peppercorns and cook over medium until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in fish bones and the wine. Cover and cook, stirring once, until the bones turn completely white, about 15 minutes. Add hot water, stir gently and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir once and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve; season lightly with salt and let cool, then refrigerate.