“Nothing says New England like chowder,” claims Jim Bailey, The Yankee Chef.
Bailey knows New England very well. A Maine resident, Bailey loves to use local flavors. In his recipes, he is often using local products, whether it is a regional ingredient or food from a local supermarket, Bailey keeps it close to home.
This recipe features two ingredients that Bailey uses often: salmon and maple syrup. Before making the chowder, Bailey cures Atlantic salmon in a salty, syrupy mixture, and lets all the flavors mix together, before baking it and tossing it in a well-prepared chowder base.
Clam chowder is what most associate with the New England stew, although clams are not the only desired seafood for this dish. Seafood and salmon chowder are often favorites with diners. The Northeast region has hundreds if not thousands of fishermen, bringing in catches from tuna, to haddock and the Atlantic salmon featured here. Bailey creates this dish, using his own backyard as inspiration.
Maple-Cured Salmon Chowder
2, 4-ounce salmon fillets
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 strips bacon, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup minced onion
2 potatoes, diced
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup corn
4 slices of cornbread
Preparing the salmon
1. First create the salmon cure mixture. In a medium bowl, combine salt, maple syrup, and pepper. Use a spatula to mix it all together well.
2. Coat each side of the salmon fillets with the cure. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the salmon before allowing it to sit in the refrigerator for one hour.
3. After the salmon has cured, rinse it off the cure mixture in water.
4. Place the salmon fillets on a greased pan, and place in an oven preheated to 350ºF for 8-10 minutes.
To prepare the chowder
1. Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes in boiling water. Dice them into cubes. You may leave the peel on, or take it off based on preference.
2. Place a pot over medium heat.
3. Add diced bacon, and sauté until the fat is rendered. Be sure not to crisp the bacon.
4. Add a tablespoon of butter to the pot, and melt before adding 1/4 cup of minced onion. Sauté for one minute.
5. Add the potatoes, and heat them thoroughly if cooled.
6. To this, add the peas and corn. Sauté the mixture for one more minute.
7. Reduce the heat to low, and add in vegetable broth, as well as heavy cream.
8. When the chowder is scalding hot, chop the salmon into bite-sized pieces, and add them to the pot.
9. Serve in a bowl with cornbread.
Recipe courtesy of Jim Bailey, The Yankee Chef, 2013