Monday, September 22, 2008

soup for the soul (anyone else need a little rum after a long week?)

Rumor has it my marriage was doomed from the get go because of my utter lack of culinary skills. So sayeth my Grandma, food peddler.

And early on, Milton Marriage BC (before children) saw very little home cooking.

I never thought I'd be the one combing cookbooks for new recipes, always looking for something new to try on my family.

(I recently made a Southwestern Corn Pudding from the Veganomicon, and *I* thought it was divine. Even Greg of the 'I Eat the Same Thing Every Damn Time at a Restaurant' approved of it, although I think he would be happy with a simple menu rotation. But he married me, born to be bored and so he gets options. I don't know if that's a blessing or a curse.)

(The kids, hypothetically, would like to point out that they have dubbed said pudding, Puke Pudding. They had a lengthy explanation for their cruelty, but I walked away as they giggled about my poor pudding's appearance. Bullies.)

Where was I? Oh, yes. Recipes.

Autumn is here, and with it came some rain. I'm going to dig out some pants and boots from storage while I simmer some Bermuda Fish Chowder on the stove.

I'm hoping the smell will whisk me away, back to the summer, before the housing market seemed so dire and all my friends took on extra work, just to make it during these tough times, financially.

Yes, I believe a piping hot bowl of soup might be the cure for many ills, be they of body or spirit.

Bermuda Fish Chowder
I am of the wing it camp of cooking. Baking is trickier, but I'm never afraid to play with a recipe. (Maybe I ought to be...) I adapted this recipe from the Outerbridge's Original Sherry Pepper Sauce website. I had this several times in Bermuda, and each time it was slightly different, but always delectable & hearty. I'm going to serve mine up with some rolls and a simple salad.
(This recipe is kid approved. Even my nephews liked it.)

4 Quarts water

1 ½ Pounds white fish fillets (I found decent fish at Trader Joes [read:not China farmed] for a decent price)


Spices: thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, ground cloves (I also added a little cinnamon and allspice)

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons oil

2 Large onions, chopped (Walla Walla sweet onions are in season right now. mmmmm)

1 Garlic clove, minced

2 Bell peppers, chopped (pick the color you like best)

1 Can (28 oz, 794g) crushed tomatoes

1 Beef broth, one box

½ Cup chopped parsley

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

2 Teaspoons lemon juice

2 Pounds potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups of Carrots, diced

1 Jigger (2 ounces) Gosling’s Black Seal Rum (or a good dark rum)

4 Tablespoons Outerbridge’s Original Sherry Peppers Sauce

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine water, fish and spices in a large pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 45 minutes. (The fish will start to break down. It gives the chowder its thickness)

In a frying pan, melt butter and oil and briefly sauté onions, celery, garlic and green peppers. (Yes, the original recipe call for 8 cups of celery. My family does not appreciate that much stalk, frankly. I kicked it out.)

Then add tomatoes and beef broth and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Transfer this mixture to the fish stock and add remaining ingredients.

Simmer partially covered for 2 hours. (This is what ‘marries’ the flavors. Look at me, acting all cook-like.)

Adjust seasoning.

Serve soup piping hot and pass around Outerbridge’s Original Sherry Peppers Sauce and Gosling’s Black Seal rum (or a similar good quality dark rum) so guests can add a few dashes of each. (Or depending on the stock market or election news, your guests can take a few swigs. See? Options.)


Lalita Ham said...

Man I wish I liked fish, I'd make that in a heartbeat.

But really what I wanted to say is that you're hilarious! I think you should update several times a day, just to keep me entertained.

Mrs. G. said...

You know the thing I don't like about kids? They have no taste. Puke Pudding? Way to deliver a soft blow to mama.

Lori said...

You really don't have to like fish to like this soup! Lisa made it for our family beach weekend earlier this month, and we loved it (and I DON'T LIKE FISH!!)...and my boys (3 & 5) loved it too! It's not fishy at all...really.

Sounds yummy, sissy! :)

flutter said...


holly said...

if a marriage can survive *my* cooking it can survive anything. seriously, i burn toast.

so NOT cool said...

I can cook well (TOTALLY GENETIC) and generally enjoy it, except when it becomes too chore-like, but since my husband often works out of town I get a lot of breaks from making big meals.

This recipe sounds SO good. I'm *mostly* vegan, but I do like to have a little fish once in a while. If I'm going to indulge, this chowder looks to be worth my while.

Okay, now my mouth is really salivating. My stomach just grumbled.

Grandy said...

Soup is good for the soul. It's lovely crockpot weather too!! LOVE my crockpot because dinner is ready when I get home. :)

San Diego Momma said...

I'm not a fan of fish IN stuff...
but this actually sounds sorta maybe like I'd try it.

And thank you for the suggested rum swigging options.

Denise said...

I, too, hate to cook. As I grow older, it is changing a bit but not as much as my husband would probably like. The good news is, he loves to cook. So it all evens out!

This recipe sounds great!!

Stu said...

I'll be right over. I'll take some chowder with my rum....

phd in yogurtry said...

Corn pudding? Fish chowder? I am impressed. You take on some brave new food frontiers.

Jennifer H said...

Mmm, I bet it smells wonderful when you make it.

And the rum doesn't sound bad, either. :-)