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How To Make the Very Best Gourmet Smoked Salmon Chowder
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The best Chowder I ever Tasted
My hubby and I went out to eat at a really nice restaurant in Colorado one evening and we were served with the best chowder ever. So naturally being the cook that I am, and not wanting to spend a fortune going out to eat every time I wanted some really good food, I started searching the internet for the recipe. After trial and error, and ingenuity, I came up with my own. And I have to say... I think it's perfect.
I also discovered at a point in this recipe you could make Baked Potato Soup instead.
1 pound of BACON (you could use less if you wanted) ( I liked using smoked flavored bacon)
6 to 8 medium POTATOES
1 GARLIC CLOVE ( I keep a jar of chopped garlic in the fridge)
SALT AND PEPPER
1 pint of HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM
approx 2 to 3 heaping TBSP. CORNSTARCH
6 to 12 oz. of leftover SMOKED SALMON or CHICKEN OF THE SEA SMOKED SALMON (you can find this vacuum packed by the canned tuna and it is very good),
1. Slice your BACON into small bite sizes. Somewhere between a 1/4 and 1/2 inch strips. see fig. 2
2. Cook them over medium high heat until crisp. ( They will soften back up in the chowder) see fig. 3
3. While you are cooking the bacon dice one POTATO then submerge in water while chopping the next. Continue until all potatoes are diced. This prevents browning from oxidation. Remember you want to keep the cubes as close to the same size as possible to so they cook more evenly (without the risk of being anal that is! LOL) Remember, the smaller the potato the less cook time you will need. see fig 4
4. When bacon is crisp. Spoon out with slotted spoon into bowl. You do not need to use a paper towel, the fats will just add to the flavor of the chowder.
5. Add potatoes to bacon drippings, and begin to saute. - you can add some SALT AND PEPPER here too.
6. While potatoes are sauteing, chop ONION into similar size as potatoes, then add to potato mixture along with 1 tsp of CHOPPED GARLIC.
7. Saute until browned. see fig. 5
8. Add potato, onion and garlic mixture along with bacon to a large sauce pan.
9. Add enough water until there is about 1 inch of water above the mixture. Heat until boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, simmer until potatoes fall apart when slightly pressed against the side of the pot and the soup becomes thick like pea soup.
10. At this point you may need to reduce heat a little more to prevent soup from popping out of pot. Trust me it will burn if not careful!
11. Now add 1 pint of HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM, I usually add a little water to the empty container just to get the last little bit out. (For baked potato soup omit whipping cream for 1 stick of REAL BUTTER and 1 cup of SOUR CREAM and MILK).
12. Let heat back up slowly, you DO NOT want to increase heat, you may scorch the cream.
13. While heating, mix your CORNSTARCH and COLD WATER (cool tap water is fine, just don't use hot) (You may not need this step for baked potato soup, your call)
14. Once your soup has reaching a nice slow simmer add the cornstarch and water mixture. You should see the thickness develop back to pea soup thickness. Don't worry if it's too thin- mix more cornstarch and water and add until desired thickness. If too thick- add milk to thin out a little.
15. Last but not least. Remove from heat. Crumble your salmon and any juices you may have from the salmon into your chowder and voila - Gourmet Smoked Salmon Chowder. (Of course omit this step for baked potato soup)
Add salt and pepper to taste. - ENJOY!
My family loves to eat this with french bread I buy at Walmart with "Everything" on it. Or you can make your own and add a mixture of POPPYSEEDS, DRIED CHOPPED ONIONS, GARLIC, SESAME SEED, AND SALT to the top of your bread. - Serve with REAL BUTTER.