On any given day in our house you’re likely to find piles of laundry, kitchen counters with food dried on them, cat and dog hair gathered in the corners of the common rooms and dirty dishes piled in the sink. It’s not pretty, but it’s our life. Two growing boys, two working parents, and a multitude of furry pets does not always an idyllic household make. I’d like to tell you that I have a cleaning scheduled that I adhere to, and that my children are conscientious about picking up after themselves and putting their dirty clothes in the hamper regularly (rather than tossing their dirty socks haphazardly in the air, allowing them to land wherever they may). I’d like to appear to have it all together, but that would be a lie.
The truth is, sometimes I’m a mess. I stress out when I know people are coming over, worried that they’re going to judge me and my disorganized house. I long to be Mary Poppins – to just snap my fingers and have everything go back to its rightful place. My mother used to joke that, as her only child, I was “practically perfect in every way.” Sadly, that description does not come with a magic carpet bag full of delightful tricks and the ability to sing your cares (and your cluttered play-rooms) away.
I’ve come to realize, in my almost 40 years, that we all have our strengths. While some of us are excellent housekeepers; others of us are decidedly not. I, clearly, fall into the latter category. However, I am not completely devoid of domestic talents. I may not have the ability to decorate impeccably or organize seamlessly; but, by God, I can cook.
This fish chowder has found its way into regular rotation at our dinner table. It’s super simple to put together, and the flavor is incredible. It’s adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe. I may not have all of Martha’s talents (or, rather, those of her staff), but I can certainly recognize a good recipe when I see one.
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 cups stock (chicken, vegetable or fish)
- 1 1/2 pounds of russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 wild-caught flounder fillets (or other flaky white fish)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk (you can also omit the cream and use 1 cup of milk instead)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a large saucepan
- Add celery, onion and garlic. Saute until softened
- Add the flour and stir to coat with the butter. Cook until it starts to smell nutty (do not let it get too brown)
- Add the stock and stir to combine. Allow to come to a boil.
- Add the bay leaf and the potatoes and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.
- Add the fish and simmer until it’s cooked through and begins to flake apart when stirred
- Add the cream/milk and salt and pepper to taste.