Cook up some energizing, cold-weather comfort food
Seafood is a flavourful, low-fat protein that provides a much-needed break from rich dishes at this time of year—and choosing sustainably sourced seafood is essential to ensuring the health of our oceans and, in return, allowing us to enjoy our favourite dishes for many years to come.
When looking to get your hands on sustainably sourced seafood, try ordering from independents such as Organic Ocean, which delivers a large variety of responsibly caught frozen items straight to your door. And don’t let the word “frozen” put you off. Organic Ocean only fishes during specific times of the year when it doesn't negatively impact wild fish populations. After processing their catch, it is immediately frozen to ensure it stays at the height of freshness until thawing—meaning the fish you get frozen is no different than it is straight off the line.
In this recipe, the seafood is browned beforehand and added back to the chowder at the very end. This avoids overcooking the seafood (which will make it rubbery) and ensures that we pick up any of that beautiful leftover flavour by deglazing with whiskey. Fresh ginger adds a refreshing kick, and the kale crunch, fibre and greenery.
- 1 pound sustainably caught scallops and prawns, shelled and left whole
- Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into medium pieces
- 2 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into medium pieces
- 2 leeks, white parts only, chopped
- Thyme, leaves from a few sprigs
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger (plus some extra)
- 1/3 cup whiskey
- 1 litre 2% milk
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup shredded kale
- Cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat large pot on medium-high with a light drizzle of olive oil.
- When hot, add half of the seafood and let brown on one side only.
- Remove and set aside before adding another light drizzle of olive oil and browning remaining seafood.
- Remove seafood from pot and add one tablespoon of butter along with leeks, carrots, potatoes, garlic, thyme leaves and ginger along with a generous dash of salt and pepper.
- Lightly stir for about 1 to 2 minutes before adding whiskey.
- Using a wooden spoon, help the whiskey deglaze the bottom of the pan by scraping off any brown bits.
- Add milk and let come up to a bubble before reducing heat to a simmer.
- Let simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- While simmering, in a small separate bowl, mix together one tablespoon of softened butter and flour.
- When carrots and potatoes are fork-tender, drop pieces of the butter and flour mixture into chowder, lightly whisk and then turn heat to high. Add shredded kale and let chowder come up to a bubble to cook out the taste of the flour.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly before tasting to see how much more salt is needed.
- Stir in seafood and add a dash of cayenne and an extra bit of chopped fresh ginger for an extra kick.
Make ahead: Seafood and chowder can each be made separately ahead of time. To serve, just reheat the chowder before stirring in seafood.