Monday, October 16, 2006

Eastman (secret) fish chowder

This is my dear Cousin Ann Eastman McDonnells recipe, in her own words. I've put the "secret" in brackets, as now it is not secret anymore. Enjoy!

Take a piece of salt pork about the size of a playing card. Remove rind and
cut into the smallest pieces possible without going nuts.

Take two large onions and do the same. Peel and chop.

At low heat, cook the pork until it is clear, but not crisp. Add onions and
cook until clear but not burned, then add a cup of water for each person.

Take a large potato for each person, peel and chop into relatively fine but
not tiny pieces. An extra potato for the pot will not hurt. Boil at low heat until the potatoes are really soft.

Tast for saltiness. If too salty, add a bit of water. If not salty enough,
add some Kosher sea salt.

Add any type of white fish, lobster, shrimp...any type of seafood that is not
oily. Be generous with this. Frozen is ok. don't thaw it, it will just take
longer to boil.

Wait only until the mixture comes to a boil. Take off the stove.
Add one can of evaporated milk and a big hunk of butter and some pepper. If
no evaporated milk is available, use cream with a little milk in it.
It is important not to boil the chowder after you add the milk as the stuff
will curdle.

This is better if made with fish stock (boiled bones and skin, strained then
throw away everything but the liquid. This freezes well). I put in some fresh parsley when I have it.

Serve with crumbled crackers on top or fresh bread.

Some people are offended by the salt pork floating in the soup. I am not as I love the stuff. If you can't get salt pork, use bacon, but it gives the soup a smoky taste. Some people like their chowder thick, in this case you will have to make a roux and add it, but Eastman chowder is more like soup than

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