Even though it’s been lovely outside, warm comforting foods are always good to have. This is for my husband’s seafood chowder. I love various chowders but this tops them all and I’ve had chowder a lot of places, even up in the New England states. Last time we made it, the two of us ate all 6 quarts in less than a week. Ah well, it was good. This is rich and expensive as chowders go. As always follow the directions, they are there for a reason.
1 small can crabmeat (not surimi/krab!) ( pick over to remove any shell and reserve liquid)
2 pounds white-fleshed fish, like cod, flounder, perch, catfish, etc.
1/2 pound sea scallops
2 small cans chopped clams (“small can” in this recipe means flat tuna type can. Reserve liquid)
1 small can minced clams (reserve liquid)
1 large can baby clams (not quite as big as a soup can. Reserve liquid)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 1/2″ – 1″ (preferably Russets, but use what you like)
4 medium onions, peeled and diced
2″ cube of salt pork (not bacon! Yes, in this instance, bacon is *bad*. Use it and you’ll simply have bacon chowder which isn’t the point. You can usually find this in the meat department around the bacon or hams.)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter (yes, 2 sticks. Do not use anything else!)
3/4 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (yes, this too.)
Dice salt pork. In a large skillet, cook it slowly to render out the fat and get it crispy. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add drained seafood and 1 stick of butter. Heat, make sure butter is melted. Sift flour over seafood/butter/salt pork mixture, mix in well. This is what thickens things. Let cook a couple of minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add reserved liquid from seafood. Heat to thicken.
In large pot (think stewpot, usually biggest in a set of pots which will barely work or something bigger. 6 QUARTS remember!), put milk, cream and potatoes and remaining stick of butter. Cook potatoes until able to be pierced by a fork.
Add seafood mixture. Heat through until thickened. Wonderful immediately and even better after a day or two. I would not recommend trying this in a crockpot type vessel. It simple overwhelms it. You could use a slow cooker to keep it warm for a party.