Writing and sharing food with friends is a delight, hardly something that warrants reprieve. However, even the work we enjoy benefits from our stepping back, reflecting, loosening our grip (or its grip) from time to time. It was hard to lay aside the routine of writing last week, though not completely unplugged from reading my favorite blogs, checking comments, and dabbling in social media.
It was not a harsh winter making me long for a respite, it has been so mild and dry several ski areas are already closed. It was the pace, schedules and deadlines, and the anticipation of lengthy to-do lists I gratefully shed. Taking a break from posting content allowed for a time of input rather than output, which brought refreshing and retooling. Cookbook reviews, photography lessons, blog maintenance, and menu planning would all be there when I settled in behind the keyboard again.
Of course, there was plenty to fill the time—cooking with a friend, garden/yard work, recipe testing, and our daughter’s commitment to the Easter production of The Thorn (see note below)—it was far from the lazy days of summer. I don’t know about you, but it seems “free” time fills faster than … well, faster than you can free it up, that is for sure.
It was a glorious week of record high temperatures and sun-kissed faces, everyone grateful for a well-timed spring break. A perfect 75 degrees concluded a week of such bliss, the softest of breezes caressing our bare toes propped on lounge chairs. Tender feet hidden away for months in bulky socks and slippers were ready to soak in sunbeams. With a book in-hand and my sweetheart beside me, deciding where to nap was the only goal for a day so lovely.
Good thing we took the time to enjoy it too. Spring weather in Colorado swings wildly from one day to the next, so a forecast of snow tonight is no surprise to those on the Front Range. Blustering wind and grey clouds hanging like a canopy cannot dampen our enthusiasm for the green mist of budding trees filling the skyline. Last week all I could think about was grilling, now I want chili and chowder, my food cravings as fickle as the weather.
Salmon Dill Chowder is ideal for this seasonal bridge between winter and summer. Creamy broth, luscious wild salmon, and hearty potatoes deliver on comfort without the usual long-simmering aspect of soup. Not intended to “feed an army” or freeze for later, it is to comfort only until our toes can slip into sandals once more.
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, April 2004, Ruth Cousineau
- 1½ pounds salmon fillet
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon Paul Prudhomme Blackened Redfish Magic
- 6 slices bacon -- cut across the slices into ¼" pieces
- ¾ cup onion -- chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 ribs celery -- coarsely chopped
- 5 medium red potatoes -- washed, unpeeled, cut into ¼" cubes
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill -- chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- Heat a cast iron skillet on med heat until hot. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave and brush on both sides of the salmon fillet. Place the buttered salmon in the skillet skin-side down. Sprinkle the Blackened Redfish Magic over the fleshy part of the salmon. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes and then set aside on a platter.
- Cook bacon in a heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until well browned and crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan and add the onion. Cook onion over medium heat until lightly browned, add garlic, celery, potatoes, half the bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in stock (more can be added to be sure vegetables are completely covered in stock) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add milk, bring the soup back to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 4-5 minutes.
- Break up salmon into 1" bite size pieces and discard skin. Stir-in with any accumulated juices from the plate. Add the dill, salt, pepper, and butter and simmer gently 3-4 minutes to meld flavors. Adjust dill, salt, and pepper, to taste.
- Garnish with remaining bacon and serve with crusty French bread.
Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday
Nourishing Treasures Traditional Tuesdays
The 21st Century Housewife Hearth & Soul Hop
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Friday Food
Easy Natural Food Sunday Soup Night
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday