Monday, 18 March 2013

Recipe: Fish Chowder

This is a very chunky soup, a meal in itself.

Ingredients

500g White fish fillet, in 2cm cubes
8-10 Cellery stalks, diced
8-10 Spring onions, chopped
400ml Brown chicken stock (see here for this component)
250ml Double cream
1t Salt
Ground black pepper (to taste)
pinch Grated nutmeg (optional)
(1t = one teaspoon = 5ml)

Method

Put the stock and the diced cellery into a saucepan. Add the salt and pepper. (I like about 10 turns from our pepper-mill, which makes about 1/10 of a teaspoon of ground pepper.) Cover and simmer gently for 50 minutes.

Add the double cream and chopped spring onion to the pan, turn the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Now add the fish and cook for a further 2 minutes, stiring very gently. (Stop when the fish is cooked: you can tell because it changes colour to an opaque white.)

If you want to add the pinch of grated nutmeg, stir that in just before you serve.

Discussion

A teaspoon of salt may seem like a lot, but salt probably isn't as bad for you as you have been led to believe. The evidence is distinctly mixed. Eating more salt may or may not increase your blood pressure. We really don't know. But there is evidence that eating more salt makes you less likely to die. (Yes, that's right: less likely! See Open Season on Salt: What the Science on Hypertension Really Shows.)

Cod is really the fish of choice for this recipe. Using other white fish the recipe comes out nearly, but not quite as good. (Cod used to be so plentiful, and now it's sadly nearly wiped out. There's a lesson for us here about pretend science and real science: listen to what Dean Bavington has to say about the Newfoundland fishery.)

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