Intro: Salmon Bone & Corn Chowder
Late summer the salmon are coming back and the corn is in season. It's perfect timing for making a salmon and corn chowder. The basis of this soup are the fish bones and the cobs of the corn. A lot of fish mongers are starting to sell bones, heads, bellies and other "waste" parts of salmon for a fraction of the cost of a fillet or steak. Also, you can catch or buy a whole salmon and break it down and use every bit. Here's an Instructable on how to do this, "Breaking Down a Whole Salmon."
Step 1: Scrape Meat From Bones
Once you've filleted your salmon, take a large spoon, and using the backside of it, scrape the meat from the bones. Set this aside.
Step 2: Get Wood Chips Ready
Soak Cedar, Apple Wood or Hickey Chips for about 1/2 an hour. Strain the water out and layer these on the bottom of a roasting pan. Put a rack over the wood chips.
Step 3: Smoke Your Bones
Put foil over the pan with wood chips and bones, and place this on a stovetop with low heat. Let it smoke for about 1 hour.
Step 4: Make Stock
Okay, I know this picture looks really sinister, but both corn stalks and fish heads are great for making broths. Cut the corn off 6 ears. Chop the corn stalk into thirds and put it in water with a fish head. Simmer this for an hour while the bones are smoking. Take the smoked bones out, and add them to this stock. Also, you can use any stems from herbs or vegetable parts you might toss. Add a cup of white wine, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and even a splash or two of fish sauce. Cook the liquids down, then strain the broth and reserve it.
Step 5: For the Chowder
1 cup celery
1 cup diced onion
2 cups fresh shucked yellow corn (reserve cobs)
3 cups red new potatoes, cut in quarters
1⁄2 chopped thyme
3 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tablespoons butter
5 cups smoked fish stock
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Heat a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat and add butter.
2. When butter is foaming, add the onion and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add celery and potatoes. Stir to coat.
4. Add stock and bring to a gentle simmer, cooking for 10 minutes until the potatoes are al dente.
5. Add any bits of salmon scraped from the bones in Step 2.
5. Add heavy cream and corn, simmering until the chowder reduces slightly.
7. Cook for 5 minutes until soup reaches desired thickness.
8. Add the parsley, seasoning liberally with salt and pepper.