With the weather cooling down and the days getting shorter, my willingness to cook after coming from work is decreasing at a constant rate. To be fair, I am only cooking for one, but the allure of Chipotle on my way home sometimes is too much. Wanting to feel better about my food choices, I set out to find a healthy but hearty meal that is outside of my usual rotation.
After browsing UVA’s Club Red recipe archive, I settled on salmon and corn chowder. I usually don’t eat fish at my house due to the smell in a small apartment. But this recipe looked so good, and I hadn’t eaten fish in a long time, so I had to try it!
In the past, stews, soups and chowders always seem to take the edge of the winter air. They’re usually best left in a slow cooker all day to stew. But this recipe is more hands-on than my past recipes and doesn’t require the slow cooker. Instead, you’ll need a large stockpot and large saucepan.
Tips for Preparing Salmon and Corn Chowder
Read your ingredient list and prepare your ingredients in advance of turning on the heat. I find that taking the time to wash, cut and measure out your ingredients will save you the headache once you get started. While this will create more dishes (for hopefully someone else) to wash, it will greatly help with cleaning throughout the process.
Reminder: Rinse off your rice before placing into the saucepan to cook. This removes additional starches and any other unwanted particles from your food.
Also, try pre-pureed ginger from the store; this will save time. Otherwise, you’ll need to peel and food-process a one-inch piece of fresh ginger.
After cooking, don’t forget to remove the bay leaf so no one accidentally eats it!
Full disclosure: The final product is not what I would classify as a chowder. It’s more of a vegetable and fish stew. Nevertheless, the recipe is flavorful and was well received by my taste testers. Many thought more of Indian food when eating this recipe, which made sense given the types of spices that went into the stew. I thought the recipe was awesome!
Get the Recipe
I only have a couple of suggestions to what I’d do differently if I were making it again. These changes will alter the nutrition facts slightly:
- This recipe is sweet enough with the natural sugars in the vegetables, so I would cut the amount of sugar in half.
- Likewise, the recipe only had one teaspoon of salt, and I felt this did a disservice to the flavors in the dish. I would simply bump that measurement up to one tablespoon of salt.
Lastly, make sure you have the right tools for the job! I had forgotten to ask the man at the fish counter to remove the skin, and I was stuck trying to remove it myself with a chef’s knife. Not my best moment in the kitchen, but after 10 minutes, I finally freed the salmon meat from its skin. I’m looking to purchase a filet knife as I write this.
Overall, I would recommend this dish to anyone who is feeling as if they’re in a food rut and looking for something healthy to cook during winter.
Stars: 3/5 stars if you’re just following the recipe. If you can alter the recipe, it could easily raise up to 4 out of 5 stars.