So I think I spent like $60 and four hours trying to replicate a magical seafood chowder I had for $6 at Bar Crudo in San Francisco. (Short tangent: I don’t even like chowder, or creamy soups in general, but good lawd. This soup was amazing. In my fruitless attempt to Google the recipe, I came across a number of posts from other people raving about it too. If you are ever in the area, you must try it. Doesn’t hurt that it’s part of Bar Crudo’s happy hour menu, which also includes $1 oysters and mussels.) I didn’t quite land it, but was still pretty happy with it. Shoot for the moon, right?
The recipe is below, but I should note that with all of these experimental dishes, I eyeball and most things and adjust to taste, which is really part of the joy of cooking.
- seafood of your choice. (I used lobster, mussels, smoked and fresh cod, shrimp)
- applewood smoked bacon (This is clutch! Maybe the most pronounced flavour in Bar Crudo’s.)
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 tbs flour
- 2 cups fish stock
- potatoes, cubed (Eyeball it!)
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- between 1 and 1.5 cups milk (depending on how much seafood you add)
- 1/2 cup cream
- salt and pepper
- juice from 1 lime
- chopped fresh parsley
- bread (to serve it with)
1. Prepare whatever seafood you’re using. (i.e. scrub, de-beard and steam the mussels, remove from shell; de-shell and de-vein shrimp, cut fish into bite-sized pieces.) Set aside.
2. In a large pot, saute chopped up bacon until it looks about half done. Add chopped up onion and saute until bacon is done and onions soft.
3. Sift in flour, stir, then add the fish broth. (If you can’t find fish broth, use a mixture of vegetable broth and whatever liquids you have leftover from, say, steaming the mussels.) Be sure to scrape up any fond — that’s the brown bits of goodness stuck on the bottom of the pan — you may have from cooking the bacon.
4. When that’s boiling, add the potatoes and cover until they’re almost done.
5. Add cayenne, nutmeg, milk and cream. Simmer until this is hot and bubbling.
6. Add all seafood except for fish and cook for a few minutes. Add fish just before everything is done.
7. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice to taste. (I like to add a little lime juice to each bowl after serving.)
8. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with bread.