Weekend Recipe: Fish Chowder

People from out of town are always surprised to learn that L.A. isn't really a seafood city. And it's true, we don't grub down on fishies as much as they do in other coastal areas. Doesn't mean we can't start now! This chowder from America's Test Kitchen uses cod, but you can sub in another white fish if you want. Try it, you'll like it!

Photo courtesy America's Test KitchenNew England Fish Chowder
Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 ounces salt pork, rind removed, rinsed, and cut into 2 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
5 cups water
2 pounds skinless cod fillets, sliced crosswise into 6 equal pieces
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, salt pork, thyme, ¾ teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add water and bring to simmer. Remove pot from heat, gently place cod fillets in water, cover, and let fish stand until opaque and nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using metal spatula, transfer cod to bowl.

Return pot to medium-high heat, add potatoes, and bring to simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender and beginning to break apart, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk milk, cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon pepper together in bowl. Stir milk mixture into chowder and return to simmer. Return fish and any accumulated juices to pot. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove and discard salt pork and bay leaf. Stir gently with wooden spoon to break fish into large pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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