|My friend Matt|
While I was devouring cheese, crackers, and the local farmer's market's carrots with the girls in the living room, I heard a faint, "Sarah," from the kitchen. I wasn't sure why I was being summoned to the kitchen, but I marched right in and said, "What can I do for you?" Matt whispered, "You are the only one in there I actually trust to taste this." Yes, was I flattered! He just won mega-points with me and so did his dish. So I took a spoonful of soup and gave him my honest opinion, it was salty and needed some pepper, maybe a little more citrus and cream. Now that my duties were done, I returned to the living room and the cheese plate.
Not too much later, dinner was served and it was terrific! I have to say I mentally took some of the credit, but Matt really deserves it all. The chowder was served with a nice Caesar salad and cornbread (with corn kernels, my favorite) which was perfect for the cold windy evening.
I highly recommend it if you want to try fish, but you really aren't a fishy person or just want a new way to cook salmon. Here is the recipe from Wood-Fired Cooking by Mary Karlin.
Salmon and Corn Chowder
Serves 6 as a main course
From Wood-Fired Cooking by Mary Karlin
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
8 ounces unpeeled small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 bunch green onions, coarsely chopped, including half of greens
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (about 2 ears)
4 cups fish or chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 pounds salmon fillets, skin and pin bones removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup minced fresh dill (Matt used cilantro in his chowder instead)
Prepare a campfire or wood-fired grill for cooking with direct heat. NOTE: We cooked it on the stove (Sorry wood-fire.)
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat and saute the celery for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in green onions and corn and add 2 cups of the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
Add cream and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the salmon and lemon zest and simmer gently until the salmon is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add more stock as needed and lemon juice to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve in bowls, topped with the dill. Or cilantro like Matt.