Bread and Chowder

Bread and Chowder

What a warming, delicious meal for a cold winter’s night!  I’m not generally drawn to chowder recipes, but when I came across Mark Bittman’s “No-Holds-Barred Clam or Fish Chowder” recipe in his How to Cook Everything iPad app, I knew I had to make it.  The March recipes for French Fridays with Dorie were announced last week.  I was so excited to see that this week’s recipe was “Savory Cheese and Chive Bread” because it would be the perfect accompaniment to the chowder.

Warm From the Oven

First the bread…  “Savory Cheese and Chive Bread” is an easy-to-make quick bread.  Dorie recommends several options for the cheese.  I chose cheddar because I thought it would go well with the chowder (I was right!).  I skipped the optional walnuts as I didn’t think the flavor would go with the meal as a whole.  While the bread is essentially a “quick bread”, the end result is much more sophisticated than most “American” quick breads.  The texture is very light and refined, and the crust almost seems flaky and buttery (thanks to all that cheese – there is actually no butter in this recipe).  This bread was right at home next to the chowder, and it would also be delicious as part of a brunch.  The whole family enjoyed the bread.  My husband declared this his favorite FFwD so far (although I think he forgot about the Pancetta Green Beans…).  I enjoyed the leftovers toasted for breakfast.

The chowder was also fantastic!  What makes it over-the-top delicious is the bacon!  I can’t imagine making the low-fat variation and leaving it out.  I made a fish chowder with wild Alaskan cod because I might have been the only one to eat it if I had used clams.  We all enjoyed it with the cod.  I added a few extra potatoes because that is my favorite part of a chowder.

Mark Bittman’s Fish Chowder

(printable recipe)

  • ¼ pound good-quality bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (about¾ pound)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups fish or chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream, half-and-half or more milk (I used part cream and part milk because that is what I had on hand)
  • 2 cups diced or chunked delicate white fish, like cod
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and remove with a slotted spoon.  Lower the heat to medium and cook the onion, potatoes, and thyme in the bacon fat until the onion softens, about 10 minutes.  Add the stock and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add some salt and pepper, then add the milk and cream.  Add the fish and bring barely to a simmer over low heat.  Be careful not to let the soup boil.  Simmer for another 5 minutes or so, until the fish is cooked.  Stir in the bacon and serve, garnishing with the chopped parsley.

Serves 4

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Bread and Chowder

  1. Beautiful meal and your bread turned out so colorful and perfect for your photo. I like your idea…my family suggested that I make a fish or seafood meal to accompany this bread…good choice.

  2. Both the bread & the chowder look great. I love Mark Bittman – he has such a down to earth approach about cooking. The bread begged for something creamy alongside it, didn’t it?

  3. Lovely! I used the same combination, cheddar, chives, no nuts… Great idea to serve it with that yummy chowder recipe.

  4. That chowder looks amazing! Thanks for the recipe. Your bread looks amazing as well!

  5. Oh I bet these were excellent together! I also love Mr. Bittman’s cookbooks and might try your idea of using cod instead for something a little different. Your bread looks perfect – wow!

  6. Maureen

    I will be making this meal soon, it looks sooo good! I also like the idea of having some of the bread leftover for morning toast.

  7. Combining this bread with soup or chowder is exactly what this bread was calling out for.

  8. Kristi

    What? No clams?! 😉 Is it your daughter who may not eat it as clam chowder? Reason being – both J and I remember a time your hubby went out to lunch with us here and ordered himself a big bowl of clam chowder. And why do we remember this? It was the amount of salt he used. Put it in the “salt appreciation levels of our mother-in-law” if you know what I mean;) If I wasn’t craving sweet potato fries so much right now – I would be all over the chowder!

  9. Yummy, yummy, yummy! Sounds perfect with the chowder ! 🙂

  10. Wow!! Everything looks so great! Very inspiring. And thanks for the chowder recipe… I’ve been wanting to make some!

  11. The chowder sounds wonderful and the bread looks great! Isn’t Mark Bittman’s approach to food refreshing?

  12. What a lovely, comforting meal! The cheddar and chives are a natural combination with the creamy chowder.

  13. So many members made chowder to go along with this and now I am hungry for some. I love chowder, but I’ve never had fish chowder before. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Your bread and chowder both look so delicious – I love that you can see the bits of cheese in the bread.

  14. The bread looks perfect with your wonderful chowder. Great pairing!

  15. Perfect with chowder! I had mine with Spaghetti and everyone loved it! Your bread is beautiful!

  16. I’m sure this went perfectly with the chowder. I have a huge crush on Mark Bittman. I love his recipes. Your loaf looks lovely!

  17. Great combo with the chowder and thanks for including the recipe. I have not done a homemade fish chowder and would have thought it more complicated if you hadn’t shared the recipe. Will try this with Nana sometime. We loved the bread and I wish that we tried this recipe in the fall so I could have made it all winter 🙂

  18. What a great combination! I was wondering what would go well with this bread and the chowder sounds delicious!

  19. Your loaf looks perfect. I absolutely loved this bread and I’m sure it was an amazing pair with your chowder. My hubby liked it too….which is saying a lot since he is rather picky. Nice job.

  20. How do you like the app? I have it for my phone, along with a few others, the Mario Batalli one, the Everyday Food one, but I have yet to cook off any of them. Maybe it is the size. Good excuse to buy an iPad. Uh, honey, I can’t read the recipes off my iPhone, so I bought the iPad. 😉

    • Karen

      I like it! It’s great for when I want to look up something in particular, either an ingredient or a recipe, but I find I still prefer a good old-fashioned cookbook when I just want to browse. I’ve cooked off it twice, and it is nice on the bigger iPad screen – very little scrolling.

  21. Love the compliment of Fish Chowder with the bread! Your bread turned out beautiful! I will definitely be saving this Fish Chowder recipe, we love soup:)
    Take care,
    Terra

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