Thursday, August 7, 2014

cod chowder for the soul

Sometimes things happen. Sometimes you go to Paris to study for a year and neglect your cooking blog because your entire kitchen is two hotplates and a microwave. Sometimes you get accepted to a dual-degree program at Columbia and come back to the States and then proceed to have major FOMO when you see your friends having fun all over Europe without you. Sometimes the guy you were head over heels for decides he doesn't want to be in a relationship and tells you so via text message. Sometimes your new conservative landlord tries to debate you about the weaknesses of the Affordable Care Act because he found out you worked at the White House but all you want to do is take a nap because you were just at IKEA for four and a half hours of your life (but really it felt like eternity).

In times of stress, annoyance, FOMO, anger, heartbreak, anxiety, frustration, the mean reds, the blues, or any other horrible feelings, I like to make some from-scratch-with-love cod chowder, mopped up to the last drop with some fresh sourdough bread. And then suddenly I'm happy to be right where I am and my FOMO disappears and boys don't exist and I feel like I could debate anyone about anything and singlehandedly assemble all of the furniture in the IKEA warehouse! I'm not even exaggerating. Try it sometime. 

serious comfort food.

potatoes, carrots, thyme, onion, BACON. there's no way you could make a bad soup out of this.

makes 6-8 servings

1 lb cod fillet, cut into 2-inch squares
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots, diced
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups whole milk
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt
pinch of pepper

Like all good things, we'll start with the bacon. Cook the bacon, per the instructions on the package, in a skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spatula and crumble it up into small pieces. Toss the onions into the skillet, cooking them in the bacon drippings until they're clear and tender. Set onions and bacon aside, and reserve 2 tbsp of the bacon drippings.

In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to boil. Add potatoes and carrot, reduce heat, cover it up and let it simmer for 5 minutes. After that, stir cod, salt, and pepper into the water/veggie mixture, then let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Blend 1/2 cup of the milk with the flour in a small bowl, then stir it into the fish mixture. While stirring, add the crumbled bacon, bacon drippings, onion, thyme, and remaining milk. Stir and cook until the soup boils, then cook for one minute more. Et voilĂ ! Chowdah. 

Chowder can be microwaved and chowed on (sorry) the next day, but you'll want to add some whole milk to it in order to loosen it up a bit. 

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