For us, this the most savory of all our chowders… combining caramelized salmon with the fresh corn cob kernels. The smoky burnt bits of the salmon are crazy good with the blistered cherry tomatoes and the intensely fruity and earthy flavors of the mushrooms… all in a creamy sherry and tarragon sauce.
This is one of the most umami chowders we’ve ever made. One of the secrets of this chowder is to remove the kernels first and then simmer the corn cobs for about five minutes in chicken bone broth or seafood broth made from shrimp heads or shells. The fresh corn flavors combine beautifully with umami broths and blistered cherry tomatoes. Any time of year is chowder season, why not give this one a whirl? Enjoy!
1 1/2 pound salmon, seared and charred, cut into 1 inch chunks (we use 2 ounces Peri Peri sauce or Yuzu Ponzu or garlic/butter for searing the salmon)
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound mushrooms (we often use chanterelles, oyster mushrooms or shiitake if available)
4 large corn cobs
32 ounces chicken broth or seafood broth
1/4 pound bacon, fried (brings lots of umami flavors)
1 pound celery, we use the most inner stalks including the leaves
12 ounces cherry tomatoes
1 large onion or 2 small, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 leek, cut into half rings
5 large garlic cloves, crushed (or we often roast a whole head of garlic for this chowder)
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper, ground
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons dry Sherry
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh Thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed (optional, but adds a wonderful flavor for chowders)
1 bunch Italian parsley, for serving
Brush on either garlic/butter or Yuzu Ponzu or Peri Peri, and then sear the salmon in the broiler or the BBQ until both sides are caramelized. Set aside to cool and then cut into 1 inch chunks.
Brush olive oil on the cherry tomatoes, add salt and place in the broiler until blistered, about 4 minutes.
Carefully cut the kernels off 4 cobs and set aside the kernels and the 4 cobs.
(Optional… on a BBQ or a broiler flame, sear 2 additional cobs until toasty and caramelized and set aside for their beauty in the serving bowl.)
In a large stockpot, heat the 4 cobs, with kernels already cut off, in the chicken bone broth or seafood broth on a low simmer for a full 5 minutes and then remove from heat and discard the cobs.
In a 12 inch pan (we use cast iron), on medium heat, fry the bacon until browned and crisp, remove from the heat and chop into bite sized pieces. Pour off all but a tablespoon of bacon drippings.
In the same pan, add half the butter and the onion, garlic, leeks, celery and crushed fennel seeds. Saute until the onions are opaque and the leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add all this to the stockpot with the chicken bone broth/seafood broth, and then add the potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 8 minutes and then add the corn kernels. Turn off the heat, stir and allow to marry.
In the 12 inch pan, add the rest of the butter until heated and sizzling, and then add the mushrooms. Saute on high until the mushrooms have released their liquids and then absorbed them again, with a slight sear… about 5 minutes.
Now stir in the Sherry, cream, salmon, blistered tomatoes, bacon, paprika, tarragon and the thyme and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and then add all this content to the chowder stockpot. Simmer on low for a few minutes to marry all the flavors.
Add the salt and both black and white pepper, to taste. Serve with Italian parsley and BBQ corn cob halves. Enjoy!