Smoked Haddock Chowder Recipe from the Spotted Pig's April Bloomfield

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Smoked haddock is very popular all over England. April Bloomfield is doing her part to raise its profile here in the U.S. That shouldn't be a problem with a chowder as good as this one, which is served at The Spotted Pig, where she's a partner. It's one of the gastropub's signature dishes.

The inspiration for this chowder comes from April's work with Simon Hopkinson at Bibendum. From there, she adapted the recipe for a chowder involving smoked haddock. Bloomfield's version varies with the seasons—sometimes she adds corn, sometimes peas.

The backstory: It's been a few years, so I'm not sure I'm telling this story right. Bear with me. Not long after Serious Eats launched, we were either at lunch with or ran into ├╝berblogger Jason Kottke. (His wife, Meg Hourihan, was consulting for SE at the time.) I don't know how it came up now, but I think Jason may have said something along the lines of ... If Serious Eats wants to offer readers utility, it could start with getting the Spotted Pig's Smoked Haddock Chowder recipe. Seems Kottke loves the stuff. We bugged April and bugged April and finally got the recipe—in the middle of summer 2007. Not a very summery recipe, so we held onto it, waiting for winter. Then forgot all about it. Until now. So here, Jason. Here's your recipe. Any other requests?

Tips

  • When infusing the haddock, think of making a cup of tea. You want to pull all the smoky flavors out into the cream. This will result in a deeply rich soup. Once you make this you will never go back to another chowder
  • Cooking the vegetables is the most valuable step. As the vegetables cook more and more they will give off a sweet soft flavour which is very Italian (even though this isn't close to being an Italian dish). Think low and slow
Tips
  • When infusing the haddock, think of making a cup of tea. You want to pull all the smoky flavors out into the cream. This will result in a deeply rich soup. Once you make this you will never go back to another chowder
  • Cooking the vegetables is the most valuable step. As the vegetables cook more and more they will give off a sweet soft flavour which is very Italian (even though this isn't close to being an Italian dish). Think low and slow

Smoked Haddock Chowder Recipe from the Spotted Pig's April Bloomfield

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About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: The Vegetarian Option: The Spotted Pig This Week's Tasty 10

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 ounces smoked haddock or whitefish (fresh or frozen; remove skin and any bones)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta (sliced and diced into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup onion (medium dice)
  • 1 cup celery (medium dice)
  • 1/2 cup carrot (fine dice)
  • 1/2 cup Yukon Gold potatoes (very fine dice)
  • 1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes (medium dice)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley (rough chop)
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Procedures

  1. 1

    In a heavy bottomed pan combine the cream, milk and haddock. Bring to a gentle simmer. Take the pan off the heat and allow to infuse at room temperature until cool.

  2. 2

    In another pan, cook pancetta in 1/4 cup olive oil over low heat until the pancetta has shrunken in size, given off a little of its fat, and turned a light brown. Add onions, celery, carrots, black pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook over medium heat for about 35 to 40 minutes

  3. 3

    Add the potatoes to the pancetta and vegetables. Cook for about 10 minutes over low heat, then strain the cream into the vegetables. Flake the haddock into large chunks. Discard all skin, bones, and any dry bits. Add haddock to chowder, give a good stir and turn the heat down to low. Cook until the potatoes are tender (approximately ten minutes), checking and stirring intermittently so they do not burn. Just before serving, stir in chopped parsley, remaining olive oil, ground chili, and lemon juice.

  4. 4

    For one use only and never for print publication or any other media besides the web log serious eats.com without express written consent from the author.

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