Jazzy Bbq Fish Chowder - Revised A Bit - Ellen's Tastes Blog at Allrecipes.com - 247903

Ellen's Tastes

Jazzy BBQ Fish Chowder - Revised a bit 
Aug. 23, 2011 6:22 am 
Updated: Aug. 24, 2011 2:25 pm
I realized (MANY hours) after I posted this that the amount of flour I originally stated (2-1/2 cups) couldn't possibly be right. You can't get 3 tablespoons of melted butter to absorb 2-1/2 cups of flour, no matter how hard you try. I also forgot to mention the potato I'd added to the chowder.

So I'm reposting this, with what I hope is a better estimate of how much flour I really DID use and the potato is now included in the recipe. My apologizes if I lead anyone astray.


To my utter amazement, I found leftover skewers of barbecued swordfish, red onion, and peppers in the 'fridge. Why hadn't my dear nocturnal Mike eaten them in one of his midnight prowls? I dunno... but there I was, with leftovers. I also don't know why I thought to attempt jazz cooking without first reviewing a bunch of recipes, but I opted instead for a braver plan: to concoct a fish chowder without looking at one single recipe. No peeking allowed.

We live in New England, where chowders of all kinds are served year 'round, so I had a pretty good idea what I needed to do anyway. For one thing, a chowder's got to start with white sauce, even if you call it Béchamel, which I don't. There's really no other way to get there without butter, flour, and milk. I also prefer chowders that aren't so thick you can set your spoon in them upright. I like a smooth, flavorful, but on-the-runny-side, broth.

So I started by making a white sauce (not too much flour), and then I added about a tsp. of chicken broth (Better Than Bouillon), some salt and pepper, and a little Old Bay Seasoning. If I'd had some fish sauce I'd have added it, but I didn't so I didn't.

Next I added the chopped up leftovers and one baking potato, diced but not peeled. The ratio of fish+veggies to broth was a little close, so I added 2 cups of water, one can of fat free evaporated milk, and half a cup of half-and-half. Then I threw in a handful (maybe a third of a cup) of chopped watercress. Don't ask where I got the idea to add the watercress. It just seemed right and, as it turned out, it added a brilliant bit of jazz.

I let the whole thing simmer in the pot for about 45 minutes... longer than need be, but I wanted the broth to absorb the flavors of the fish and vegetables. And although I was tempted to skim the top at times, I stirred. What seemed to be a lightly formed "coating" magically disappeared into the broth without creating any lumps. Go figure. 

The results? A really, really, REALLY wonderful fish chowder. Rave reviews from family and friends. What a fine bit of wonderful to add to my file of keepers.

In true jazz-cooking style, I didn't measure anything, so the following recipe is a best guess.

Ellen's Jazzy BBQ Fish Chowder

3 tbsp. butter
4-5 tbsp. white flour*
2 c. milk
2 c. water
1 can fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 c. half-and-half
1 tsp. Better Than Bouillon, Chicken 
salt and pepper to taste
Old Bay Seasoning, to taste
1/3 c. chopped watercress
1 large baking potato, diced but not peeled
6 pieces (skewer size.... about 2" across) BBQ'd swordfish, chopped
4 pieces BBQ'd red onion, chopped
2 pieces each BBQ'd red, green, and yellow peppers, chopped

Using the butter, flour and water, make a white sauce. (Melt the butter over low heat; then, with a wooden spoon quickly stir in the flour until it's blended with no lumps; then slowly add the milk and heat and stir over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens a bit.) 

*If the sauce doesn't think enough to your liking, you can make a loose paste with warm water and flour, stirring quickly to avoid any lumps. Then add the paste to the broth and stir some more. Or you can add sifted corn starch which tends to thicken without lumping.

Add the remaining ingredients and cook over simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally (resist the temptation to skim the top and stir instead). Serve with a nice crusty bread. Prepare to swoon ;)

BBQ Seafood Chowder
Photo Detail
Aug. 23, 2011 8:42 am
Bet that smoky grilled flavor of the leftover was WONDERFUL in your chowder!
Aug. 23, 2011 9:23 pm
Your chowder sounds d'lish. I read your profile and wanted to see what else you're blogging about so randomly clicked on last month and saw your broiled chicken recipe. Thank you. So simple! I'll be trying it very soon, for sure, because I've got a secret. Chicken scares me. I know! It's just chicken. But it's true. I've screwed up so much baked, sauteed and roasted chicken, you've no idea. A couple weeks ago I did produce a decent roast bird, but mostly I just create a tasty marinade and have DH Steve grill it. Sad, huh?
Aug. 23, 2011 9:30 pm
Ellen, I forgot to ask...what is jazz cooking?
Aug. 24, 2011 2:08 pm
@Lucy.. you prompted me to write a blog entry describing what I mean by jazz cooking. I hope that answers your question! As for chicken, I have a couple of tips, but the most important is to BUY ORGANIC CHICKEN. It's inherently juicier and is much healthier for you. If you can't afford organic, at least buy one that says the bird was fed "naturally" (no antibiotics or other ingredients that chickens shouldn't be eating.) For the broiled chicken, make sure you place your chicken close enough to the broiler to cook, but not so close that the oiled skin will catch on fire (which happened to me only once, but I still pay close attention!). Chicken is also really terrific when braised. Here's a recipe for chicken cacciatore which never fails: http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/62366815/ellens-chicken-cacciatore/detail.aspx. Best of luck. I hope you'll let me know how it goes!
Click to Change your Profile Picture

Living In
Concord, New Hampshire, USA

Member Since
Dec. 2004

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, Healthy, Gourmet

Photography, Reading Books, Music, Painting/Drawing, Wine Tasting

Go Pro!

In Season

Celebrate Spring Salads
Celebrate Spring Salads

The most-tender new vegetables are here just in time for early spring salads!

Hearty Potato Soups
Hearty Potato Soups

Creamy, comforting potato soups will warm you up.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

About Me
I've loved cooking since I was a kid, and still have my first (very battered) cookbook. Other than cooking, I adore interior design, writing, and playing bridge. Oh... and tasting new wines (or old favorites).
My favorite things to cook
As I've grown older, my tastes and philosophy have changed. I now use organic ingredients whenever I can, and I prefer using unprocessed ingredients.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Well, my mother (bless her) had 8 people to feed, so she made foods that were easy to prepare. My favorites were her baked ribs with barbecue sauce; english muffins topped with cheese, tomato, and bacon, and then broiled; and spaghetti noodles with tomato soup and cheddar cheese stirred in. I wouldn't make these dishes today, but they're full of fond memories.
My cooking triumphs
Adding orange juice to diced tomato sauce • Adding Cointreau to fresh fruit salads or a chocolate sauce • Adding tequila and bittersweet chocolate to chili • "poaching" salmon in orange juice, sprinkled with Old Bay and tarragon • adding cidar vinegar and soy sauce to vegetable soups • adding fresh mint to steamed red potatoes • knowing how to bail out a botched dish (example: over-steamed broccoli mashed with bleu or swiss cheese isn't nearly as bad as over-steamed broccoli on it's own).
My cooking tragedies
Over-steaming broccoli and most any other veggie... and a lasagna that was so loaded with oregano, no one could eat it.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States