Thursday, September 19, 2013

Manhattan Fish Chowder – jazzed up with a little shellfish


Manhattan fish chowder is perfect for any season, but I particularly like to serve it during the transitional time of the year. I wanted something colorful and “fall-ish” to remind me that cool weather is around the corner, but I’m not quite ready for a heavy soup yet.

Fresh thyme is an absolute must in this chowder. Thyme is found in Provencal & Mediterranean cuisines and pairs well with the tomatoes. The flavors of the fresh thyme really sing in this chowder. The bacon flavor also comes through, so be careful not to choose an overly smoky bacon such as hickory. It will end up dominating the chowder. A French baguette or toasty slices of bread are perfect to dunk in the chowder.

The base of the chowder can be made in advance and held for several hours until you are ready to serve. Simply heat, add the fish and let it heat through, and you’re good to go. We’ve tossed in a few grilled shrimp and sea scallops to jazz it up a bit, but it’s equally good on its own.



Manhattan Fish Chowder – spiffed up with a shellfish garnish
Adapted from Everyday Food’s Fresh Flavor Fast – serves 6

4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into ¼” pieces (we used a mild apple wood smoked bacon)
1 large onion, peeled & finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled & halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise, yielding 1 cup
1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes in juice
2 8-ounce bottles clam juice
2 medium baking potatoes, about 1 ½ pounds, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped (less if you don't like thyme)
1 pound skinless tilapia fillets, or other firm white fish, such as flounder, sole or halibut
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shellfish optional:
6 large shrimp, peeled and grilled & 3 large dry pack sea scallops, sautéed briefly on both sides in a little canola oil, then cut in half horizontally.

In a large 5-quart pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-low heat until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bacon and set aside. Spoon off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Add the onions and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Break up the tomatoes either with your hands or with kitchen shears, then add tomatoes along with their juices, clam juice, 1 ½ cups of water, and the reserved bacon. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the potatoes and thyme; reduce heat to simmer, and cook uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the chowder can be covered for an hour or two before proceeding with the recipe.

Tilapia fillets have one thick side and one thinner side. To cut, halve the fillets along the center line before cutting them into chunks. Add the tilapia chunks to the chowder, cover, and cook until the fish is opaque and flaky, about 3 minutes. Season chowder with salt and freshly ground black pepper. With a ladle, spoon solids into six soup bowls, then add the liquid around the solids. Garnish with the shellfish if desired Serve immediately.


This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, and Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper.

Have a great weekend everyone.

40 comments:

  1. I love this - simple to make and incredible delicious to eat - love the addition of the scallops - gorgeous!
    Mary x

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  2. I love this - simple to make and incredible delicious to eat - love the addition of the scallops - gorgeous!
    Mary x

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  3. Mmmm... making my grocery list now. This sounds and looks wonderful.

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  4. This is light and refreshing Sam, quite unlike the heavy cream-based chowders we are used to.

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  5. I just booked marked this recipe and can't wait to try it. Visiting from Miz Helen's Full Plate.
    Easy Life Meal and Party Planning.

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  6. Gorgeous seasonal colors Sam! No doubt this is a very tasty and healthy meal:@)

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  7. Tasty and comforting! That stew looks gorgeous.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. Just what I was thinking, time for fish soup!

    So, what would you do if you wanted the fish to be salmon????

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    1. Lisa, I might use a pretty chowder with salmon like this one from Epicurious that you might enjoy - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salmon-Chowder-238699

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  9. I don't think I've ever tried a red clam chowder - only white. Must try this!

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  10. I have some cod in the freezer just hanging around waiting for a recipe. I think this is it! I, too, love the fall colors. I'm making end-of-summer soup right now.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  11. Looks and sounds awesome Sam, especially with the nicely crusted scallops in it. Even though I know it makes for a much prettier presentation, it's difficult for me to cut the pieces smaller - I need to post this photo when I'm making soup.

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  12. The chowder looks terrific, Sam. I come from a small coastal city and used to eat seafood every day...o..how I miss fresh live fish!

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  13. This looks amazing..love the scallops in it Sam..and I favor thyme.
    Thank you:-)

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  14. That sounds amazing! I may try to recreate this on a single serving level for my lunch today. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday!

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  15. I make a Greek fish stew called platke that sound remarkably like this. When I fed it to family and ask for a critique but insisted they must be kind in their criticism my nephew said it was delicious, but if I wanted to add some shellfish/shrimp he thought that may improve it. He was so right and I see you think so too. I want to give this a try. My family has diverse tastes and it seems this is the one dish that everyone loves.

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  16. You have out done yourself on this fish chowder.....This is beautiful.


    Velva

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  17. We had manhattan seafood restaurant over here, i once order manhattan chowder and what's comming a hillarious disaster (it's tagger about 20 USD)
    your manhanttan it's looks much more better!
    preety tastier too i guess....

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  18. Wow, just gorgeous! I'm glad you shared this recipe instead of being "shellfish" and keeping it to yourself ;)

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  19. Ummm, lots of goodness going on here, Sam! This is a must try now that it's getting cooler. It will be a hit here! Thanks for the recipe and have a good weekend!

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  20. Your chowder looks so delicious, Sam. I don't remember my mother or grandmother ever making anything other than the cream based Boston version. I know I would enjoy this lighter version and I'm so curious to try it.

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  21. You're making my mouth water for this wonderful chowder and I haven't even had breakfast yet! Looks fabulous Sam!

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  22. That really looks the scrummiest chowder I have seen in a long time!
    I will save this recipe to try at a later stage.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  23. Perfect transitional soup, Sam. The fish and shrimp lighten things up and it looks delicious! Great photos. Soups are so difficult to photograph.

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  24. I need to make this very soon... perfect transitional recipe. Pinning

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  25. Oh my! I almost want to lick the screen ... yummy

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  26. Hi Sam,
    This is a great Chowder that has such great flavor. It sure would be good on a rainy evening.

    Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

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  27. Beautiful soup, Sam! I love fish soup and yours look delicious. It's turning into soup season in my house and a seafood soup needs to make it on my list! Great post!

    Bill @ www.southernboydishes.com

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  28. I love this soup Sam! Wonder how Salmon would work in this ....

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  29. Dear Sam, I love this dish. It looks wonderful. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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  30. it looks hearty and wonderful! A great way to start off fall

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  31. Just mouthwatering....looks delicious!

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  32. We used to eat Manhattan Clam Chowder growing up, in addition to the New England version, of course. I haven't had it in years. I'll have to try your version ~ it looks delicious and it's certainly lighter. I always love coming to visit your blog; I so enjoy the recipes and stories and photography. Happy autumn.

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  33. Manhattan clam chowder was my father's favorite, Sam, and I know he would have loved this fish version. It also reminds me of an Italian zuppa di pesce. This type of soup's flavor is one I could never tire of!

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  34. It is nice to be thinking of Fall flavors and soups especially. Where has the year gone? This recipe is a keeper Sam.

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  35. Im so exited and looking forward to the chilly season and trying new soups!
    www.prettybitchescancooktoo.com

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