Pollock is a local white fish, mild in flavor and usually inexpensive. In this chowder, a pound of fish and four red potatoes make supper for six. Instead of complicating the recipe with homemade fish stock, we use bottled clam juice diluted with water. A little salt pork enhances the broth, whole milk enriches it, and cornstarch thickens it. So it's not a chowder that's so thick your spoon will stand upright. But it's everything a summer dinner should be: quick, light, easy, and full of sea flavor.
|1||tablespoon canola oil|
|1/3||pound salt pork, skin removed, pork coarsely chopped|
|2||large onions, chopped|
|6||stalks celery, chopped|
|1||tablespoon dried thyme|
|4||large red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces|
|6||cups (24 ounces) bottled clam juice|
|1||pound pollock, or other firm-fleshed white fish, cut into 1-inch pieces|
|2||cups whole milk|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|5||tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 5 tablespoons water|
2. Add the onion and cook 3 minutes more. Add the celery and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
3. Stir in the potatoes, clam juice, and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are barely tender.
4. Add the fish, milk, a pinch of salt, and pepper. Return to a simmer, but do not let the soup boil. Cook for 3 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
5. Stir the cornstarch mixture again so it is pourable. Slowly add it to the pot, stirring gently. Cook for 1 minute or until the broth thickens slightly. Taste the broth for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Karoline Boehm Goodnick