Foodie Friday: Seafood Chowder

I love Seafood Chowder! If it’s on the menu and the place is by the sea I must have it. Ever since arriving in Ireland I have been on the search for the perfect chowder. Well Nenagh Gal posted a link to recipe by a restaurant that is by the sea and has just won the Seafood Circle Bar of the Year 2010. And as it turns out I have actually eaten in Kealy’s Seafood Bar in Greencastle while waiting for a ferry two years ago.  I don’t remember what I ordered so I am assuming I didn’t have the chowder because my god this recipe is good! Best seafood chowder ever! and my first time making this dish.

here are some pre photos using my christmas present – the best flash ever.

Now I didn’t stick to the recipe exactly as I didn’t have a couple of the ingredients.

Instead of Angostura bitters I added a splash of Richard Pastis De Marseille – I am not sure if that is the best subsitute but it was all I had.

I added 1.5 litres of fish stock – more by accident than on purpose.

I didn’t have smoked haddock.

I added 200g of salmon and about 200g of prawns.

Also I used dried dill because the local store didn’t have fresh dill.

And lastly I didn’t add the milk but i did add cream. Mmmm

Other than that I pretty much stuck to the recipe below.

This recipe is from Tricia Kealy and is the most popular dish on their menu.
1.2 litres/2 pints fish stock
100g/4oz skinless salmon fillet, cubed
100g/4oz skinless haddock fillet, cubed
50g/2oz butter
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 leek, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp crushed pink peppercorns
50g/2oz plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Angostura bitters
a little milk (optional)
pouring cream and chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

To Serve
freshly baked brown scones


Bring the fish stock to a gentle simmer in a large pan and add the salmon and haddock. Cook for a couple of minutes until tender, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Set aside until needed.

Melt the butter in a separate large pan over a medium heat. Sweat the onion, carrots, leek and celery for about 10 minutes or until they are softened but not coloured. Add the dill and pink peppercorns and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Stir the flour into the vegetable mixture and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually pour in the fish stock, stirring until smooth after each addition: add a dash of Angostura bitters, then bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until all of the vegetables are completely tender and the liquid is slightly reduced. Season to taste.

Just before serving, a little milk can be added to thin out to desired consistency. Add the cooked salmon and haddock to the chowder and allow to warm through. Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with a little cream and some parsley. Arrange on plates with some brown baby scones to serve.

NB: If by any chance you have the time try making Sharon Seeded Irish Brown Soda Bread to accompany the soup – it looks divine!
  1. lucia said:

    Kealys is my favourite seafood restaurant – I even used to work in it years ago for a summer job!! Loving this recipie, think I’ll have to try it, so comforting in this weather! 🙂

  2. M said:

    lucia – kealys is in a perfect spot. a great place to wait and miss a couple of ferries. oh and this recipe is a winner. i had it for lunch the next day and it was even more delicious.

  3. the stall at the powerscourt end of georges arcade used to do the best chowder ever…sadly i think that stall is run by a different coffee house now and lacks the chowder and the bar stools…

    seriously…beat a clam chowder from quincy market in boston hands down…

  4. sharon said:

    uumm, chowder my favourite….in fact my parents have a seafood bar in wexford and they are known for their chowder too so if you’re ever in the hood! meanwhile….you can find my dads recipe in BIM’s ‘from tide to table’ (and on the front cover!) and in neven maguires new cookbook ‘Homechef’ too!….enough of the plugging to you though, lol. thanks for the link to my soda bread too, very kind! also, when is your shop going to be up and running?

  5. M said:

    hi richy – thanks for the tip. next time i am in boston i will definitely check out quincy market.

    Sharon – plug away. i will definitely try both recipes and report back. any excuse to make more seafood chowder. and i am going to try out your bread recipe this weekend.
    Oh and the shop – well i am hoping a few new items will pop up there in the next couple of weeks. i need to be more organised with my spare time as some of the items are really special.

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