October already. Most everyone has stored their boat for the winter except the last of the hardy sailors and the fishermen who are still out on the water catching blues, snappers and bass. It’s a nice time of year to be out fishing. The weather isn’t scorching, the air is crisp and it’s just a nice time out on the water.
Since it’s fall and the beginning of chillier weather, I love to start making soups. I’m usually using the season’s fresh vegetables for a nice soup but occasionally I like a heartier one with some protein in it. So I add fish. Most fish soups and stews call for thicker fillets like cod, but I find that snappers and bass are mild enough to use as they will pick all the other flavors in your recipe. We all know how to make soups and since one recipe I found is rather involved, I’m not going to continue talking…so enjoy the rest of the fall and try one of these soups or all of them!
2 cups of chopped onion
2/3 cup of chopped celery including the leaves
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 Tb. of butter
2-28 oz. cans of tomatoes
1 cup of chicken stock
2/3 cup of dry white wine
2 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of Tabasco (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. of dried thyme
1 up of chopped parsley
1 lb. of fish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
In a large saucepan, sweat the onion, celery and garlic in the butter over low heat until tender, but not brown. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, wine, salt, Tabasco and thyme. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add the parsley and cook for 2 more minutes. Finally add the fish and simmer gently until just cooked, about 5 minutes. Serves 8.
Long Island Fish Chowder
1/2 lb. of sliced bacon
1 cup each of sliced onions and carrots
1 cup of broccoli florets
1 cup of fresh or canned corn (drained)
1 cup of potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups of chicken stock
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp. each of basil and oregano
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of freshly ground pepper
1 lb. of thick fish fillets (your choice), cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb. of scallops
1 cup of heavy cream
In a large stockpot, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan, pat dry and crumble. Using the fat in the pan, sauté the carrots, onions, broccoli, corn and potatoes. Add the stock and seasonings, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the fish and scallops and cook about 10 minutes until tender. Add the cream and heat gently. Serve garnished with the bacon bits. Serves 6.
This next recipe is a little adventurous but the result is delicious.
Smoked Bluefish Chowder
2 (1-pound) whole bluefish, scaled and cleaned
2 Tb. of unsalted butter
1 leek (white and pale green parts), minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1/2 tsp. of dry mustard
4 cups of stock, either fish, chicken or vegetable
1-1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Sea salt and black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 cup of frozen corn
1/4 cup of heavy cream
2 Tb. of dry Sherry
Chopped chives for garnish
To smoke your bluefish use a stovetop smoker (or any other method you may have) with 1-tablespoon hickory and 1-tablespoon cherry wood. Smoke each fish for 22 minutes using a new batch of hickory and cherry wood for the second one. Cool, debone, and flake into large chunks.
Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the leek and celery and cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, about 13-15 minutes. Stir in the dry mustard, stock, potatoes, and thyme sprigs, season with salt (~2 teaspoons) and pepper, and a pinch of cayenne, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove half of the potatoes. Mash with a fork or potato masher and return the mashed potatoes to the soup. Stir in the corn and sherry and cook another minute or two until the corn is warmed through. Remove from the heat and mix in the fish and cream. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped chives. Serves 4-6.