Fleur's Moeraki seafood chowder
Photo by Duncan Innes
Fleur Sullivan’s seafood chowder was elegantly presented in a wide-lipped fine china bowl. The rich fishy tomato broth brimmed with fresh shellfish and was garnished with a small square of roasted muttonbird and a spoonful of tasty eel pâté.
Good stock is central to a delicious fish soup or stew and simple to make. Unlike meat and poultry stock, fish stock is simmered for less than 30 minutes. Longer cooking tends to bring out bitterness in the bones. I like to divide my stock into 500ml pottles, keeping a little to freeze in ice-cube-sized containers. That way I have fish stock on hand to make a small amount of sauce or broth when cooking for one or two people.
|1 stick||Celery, diced|
|50 g||White wine|
|75 g||Tomato paste|
|1 Ltr||Fish stock, see below for recipe|
|1 tsp||Fennel seeds|
|½ tsp||Smoked paprika|
|1 tsp||Fresh thyme|
|250 g||Snapper fillets, or blue cod, diced|
|10||Mussels, scrubbed and debearded|
- Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the vegetables. Cook for several minutes over a very low heat, ensuring the vegetables do not brown. Add the flour, stir in well and cook until it has a sandy texture.
- Slowly add the wine and tomato paste, stirring well to remove any lumps.
- Heat the stock separately, and add it to the pan, stirring in with the fennel seeds, paprika, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to the boil stirring continuously so the soup does not catch on the bottom.
- Add all the seafood, then simmer gently for 2-3 minutes until the shells begin to open and the fish is cooked.
- Ladle into heated bowls and serve with crusty bread.
- Rinse the fish frames and heads well in cold water, ensuring the gills and blood are removed.
- Break and chop the bones into chunks. Place everything in a large stockpot and gently bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Strain through a fine sieve into clean containers, discarding all the solids. Refrigerate or freeze until needed. Makes 2 litres.