Fresh Corn and Salmon Chowder with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes in a Sherry & Tarragon Sauce

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 haunting flavors of the Chanterelle mushrooms… all in a creamy sherry and tarragon sauce.  

This beauty 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 and shells.  The fresh corn flavors combine with umami broths and blistered cherry tomatoes. Any time of year is chowder season, why not give this one a whirl?  Enjoy! 

Ingredients…

1 1/2 pound salmon, seared and charred, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 pound chanterelles, already pan seared
4 large corn cobs, each cut in half
32 ounces chicken broth or seafood broth
1/4 pound bacon, sautéed (optional but brings tons of umami)
1 pound celery, we use the most inner stalks including the leaves

12 ounces cherry tomatoes
1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 leek, cut into half rings
4 to 5 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper, ground
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
2 tablespoons dry Sherry
2 ounces Peri Peri sauce or Yuzu Ponzu or garlic/butter for the salmon
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
1 bunch Italian parsley, for serving

Prep Work

Brush on either garlic/butter or Yuzu Ponzu or Peri Peri, and then sear the salmon steaks (or filets) 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 the last 2 cobs until toasty and caramelized and set aside for their beauty in the serving bowl.)

In a large stockpot, heat the 4 cobs (without kernels) in chicken bone broth or seafood broth on a low simmer for a full 5 minutes and then remove from heat.

Cooking

In a 12 to 14 inch cast iron pan, 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 cast iron pan, add half the butter and the onions, leeks, celery and fennel seeds. Saute until the onions are opaque and the leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes and the contents of the large stockpot, including the chicken bone broth or seafood broth. Discard the 4 corn cobs. Simmer until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 8 minutes and then add the corn kernels. Turn off the heat and allow to marry.

In an other cast iron skillet, add the rest of the butter until heated and then add the Chanterelles. 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 and the thyme and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and then add all this content to the chowder, allowing to marry.

Add the salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Italian parsley and BBQ corn cob halves. Enjoy!