CLASSIC MARITIME SEAFOOD CHOWDER
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp (5 mL) dried dill or thyme
Salt and pepper
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups (500 mL) water or fish stock
1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
3 cups (750 mL) Milk
2 cups (500 mL) chopped raw skinless fish fillets and/or cooked seafood (shrimp, lobster, scallops, crab, clams, oysters) I typically use tilapia, shrimp and maple smoked salmon (found in the seafood section of the grocery store)
2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Optional ingredients - crumbled whole grain crackers, frozen corn, chopped carrots, red pepper etc.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat; sauté celery, onion, bay leaf, dill, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper for about 5 min or until onions start to brown. Stir in potatoes; sauté for 2 min.
Increase heat to medium-high; stir in water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and boil for about 5 min or until potatoes are almost tender.
Whisk flour into Milk and stir into pot; bring to a simmer, stirring often. Stir in fish or seafood; simmer, stirring often for 5 min or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork or seafood is hot. Discard bay leaf. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with crumbled crackers.