Chowdar! 

I used to loathe chowder. Then I had great chowder, and realized what the difference was. Versions I had in the past were heavily a cream base – very thick, and tasting primarily of fish and warm milk.

Yuck.
untitled-899The secret, I’ve found, is butter, broth and salt. Butter and broth cuts through the cream, while salt to taste brings out all the other flavours (the fish will be strong enough, so you want to add some salt and spices).

It always sounds labour-intensive, making chowder, but this was done and ready in an hour, and a lot of that was prepping the veggies. And after an afternoon drive around the blustery coast, a great way to end the day.

Chowder Recipe
1 leek, halved and then chopped
A piece of bacon, cut into pieces
1/4 c. butter

Put a large pot on medium heat, and add the butter and bacon. Once the butter is melted and the bacon sizzling, add the leek and cook, stirring occasionally until softened (about 10 minutes). Then add a couple pinches of nutmeg, three bay leaves, and a dash of salt, and cook for a few more minutes.
untitled-901Then add: 1 sweet potato, 4 medium potatoes, and 2 small carrots – all peeled and chopped into cubes. Cook these for 5 – 7 minutes, until they start to soften. Add a box of chicken stock, and continue cooking for another 5 – 7 minutes.

Add 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup of milk, stirring to combine. Once you get it back up to a simmer, add the chowder mix. The folks at North Market Seafood did one up for us, with scallops, shrimps, salmon and haddock. Let all this simmer for 10 minutes, add a pinch of paprika, and you’re golden.

We garnished with spring onions, parsley and a bit more bacon, then used the bread to sop up the broth. The butter will separate to the top of the bowl, but just mix it around with your spoon first.

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Sunday Roast

It’s just been a long, long winter.

Blizzards upon blizzards, leading to almost 4 metres of snowfall in 2 months. Then, a dark and heavy winter, buckling under the weight of all this snow, turned more so, with Dad being in the hospital for one of those months. Happily, he’s home on the mend now. And the days are getting longer and brighter.

While I was feeling particularly wordy yesterday, drafting this post, today turned completely mellow – another blizzard roared into the region, and the howling winds coupled with the smells of tonight’s supper roasting in the oven all day, made the perfect conditions for slowing brain waves. Eloquence simmered away into babble.

Without ado, then, this was the source of the lovely smells in the house: Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder and Pork Crackling (served with whipped potatoes, steamed carrots and broccoli, and gravy). Highly recommend it.

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