4.03.2011

Sunday Special: Salmon and Asparagus Chowder

. Well...you win some, you lose some!  That's pretty much all I can say about my effort to make Salmon and Asparagus Chowder for dinner last weekend.  There were some highlights, but for me, they were a little overshadowed by the other pitfalls that occurred.

Sounds delicious enough though, right?  I'm a ginormous chowda' fan, have been ever since I was a little girl!  Growing up in Washington, we had an abundance of seafood at our disposal and Clam Chowder was always top on my list whenever we went out to eat.  MmmMm, thick and creamy soup, chunks of salty clams.  Doesn't get much better than that.

So I went into this having a wonderful vision of what the dish was supposed to turn out like.  And I was more than A LOT disappointed.  Oh, and side note, [good] salmon is expensive so that made me even a little more perturbed that the chowder didn't turn out.

My first mistake happened before I even started cooking!  How does that even happen? Well here's how.  Me and my want-to-be-healthy mind (the key word is want) always looks for ways to cut back the numbers in nutrition facts.  So while I was shopping, I opted for reduced-sodium vegetable broth and didn't even think twice about it.  Well, the "chowder" turned out very bland.  I, of course, ended up adding salt to the entire pan, probably more than what would have originally been using regular vegetable broth.  Nice.

My second wrong step happened during the prep.  The directions called for peeled potatoes, but because of my extensive culinary knowledge, I thought 'The skins are healthy [and pretty] so I'll leave them on, why not!'  Mistake two, check.  Long story short, the "chowder" ended up very soupy and not thick whatsoever.  My analysis of the whole situation brought me to the potato skins, and if they would have been peeled then the potatoes would have been able to break up a bit, allowing the starchiness of the potatoes to incorporate with the liquids.  This could totally be wrong but I'm going with it to make myself feel better.

So there you go, my "chowder" was basically a boring soup.  BUT, I can't just bash on the recipe all post either.  Hmm let's see.  The salmon was phenomenal.  We ended up with some great cuts of fish from Whole Foods Market and it added that great seafoody flavor found with the usual clams.  Also, the asparagus became very soft [but not mushy] and I really liked its flavor with everything else.  Oh, and we bought a GREAT loaf of Wheat Bread from Whole Foods Market as well.  By far the best loaf of bread I've picked out and it was a great complement to the "chowder".

With some tweaks and following the directions correctly [tsk, tsk, to me!], this recipe would be really great.  So do what it tells you and you'll end up with a good ol' chowda' to send off a wonderful weekend!

Also, if anyone wants to see some type of dish on the blog, leave a comment on any post telling me what you're looking for.  I'd love to try out any recipes you maybe haven't gotten to and would rather someone else be the experimenter ☺  Or if you're looking for a certain type of cuisine, let me know.  I'm open to anything!

Salmon and Asparagus Chowder


Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh skinless salmon fillets or 1 (15 oz.) can salmon, rinsed, drained, flaked, and skin and bones removed
2 (14 oz.) cans vegetable broth or 3-1/2 c. vegetable stock
2 c. frozen whole small onions or 1 c. chopped fresh onion
2-1/2 c. cubed red-skinned potatoes (about 3 medium)
1 tbsp. snipped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp. dried dillweed
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
2-1/2 c. whole milk, half & half, or light cream
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 (10 oz.) package frozen cut asparagus, thawed and well drained, or 2 c. cut-up fresh trimmed asparagus

Directions:
  1. Rinse fresh salmon; pat dry.  To poach, in large skillet bring 1-1/2 cups water to boiling.  Add salmon.  Return to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered,  6 to 8 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with fork.  Remove salmon from skillet, discarding poaching liquid.  Flake salmon into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.
  2. In large pot, combine vegetable broth, onions, potatoes, dill, lemon peel, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper.  Bring to boiling, reduce to heat.  Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Combine milk and cornstarch in bowl and mix very well; stir into soup.  Stir in asparagus.  Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir 2 minutes more.  Gently stir in poached salmon.
Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Facts (per 1-1/3 cups):  Calories: 235 ; Total Fat: 10g ; Cholesterol: 39mg ; Sodium: 609mg ; Carbohydrates: 19g ; Fiber: 2g ; Protein: 16g 

2 comments:

  1. Urgh! What ever possessed you to include asparagus with salmon? And in a chowder of all things.

    Maybe my palate isn't as refined as yours - but even I could see that such a recipe is doomed from the start.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perhaps somebody doesn't like asparagus? It is a delicious combination!!!

    ReplyDelete

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