Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fish Chowder and My Daughter's Nut and Seed Bread

Full disclosure, it's been a rough week around here. The cute doggie did not respond well to the 2nd chemo, and we almost lost him over the weekend. He's doing a bit better now, but my heart is sad at the thought of losing my buddy.

Fenway in happier times (on vacation at the beach and in the Maine snow!)

So cooking wasn't really on my mind.

I had this vague idea that I was going to make some healthy Valentines treats to share.

Sorry, not happening.

My daughter offered to share the bread recipe she made today. It's a vegan/paleo/gluten-free nut seed pumpernickel loaf.

She adapted the recipe from The Organic Dietitian.

Doesn't it look healthy?

I started wondering what I could have it with.

Then it hit me - Ash Wednesday. My favorite haddock chowder recipe. Perfect combination.

Back in 2014, I celebrated my sale to LIS with dinner at my favorite lobster house in Maine. We started off the meal with their fabulous fish chowder. Ever since then I'd been craving haddock chowder.

I was finally smart enough to look up a recipe. Haddock isn't easy to find around here, but Costco has been carrying it and the recipe is delicious.

Down East Chowder

@ 1 pound of haddock fillet
4 cups of water

You boil the haddock in the water. I like to use my Dutch Oven for this. You have to skim off the foam, but after boiling it for about 10 minutes, you have a nice fish stock.

You remove the fish and break it into bite-sized pieces. Then add about 3 cups of chopped potatoes, 1 cup chopped onion and 1 cup chopped celery. Cover and simmer until tender.

When everything looks ready, add the fish back in. You can add some salt and pepper at this point, and then swirl in 1 cup of milk/cream/half and half (depending on richness you want) and a pat of butter.

I thought I had taken pictures of the process, but I hope you'll settle for pictures from my celebratory dinner.

Is fish chowder one of your favorites? 


  1. Oh no! So sorry to hear Fenway isn't feeling well! ((hugs)) to your pup.

  2. Poor Fenway. Sending prayers his (and your) way, Mary Cate. Our pets truly are like our kids and we grow so attached.

    I can't say I've ever had fish chowder. That bread looks fabulous, though. I love a good, grainy bread.

    1. Isn't it funny how our food experiences differ by location. I grew up loving fish chowder, but have never had some of the foods that seem so natural to you.

      Thanks for the prayers. Fenny and I both appreciate them.

  3. Yes, poor Fenway. He's been part of the Cafe forever!

    And I love fish chowder! I have to settle for restaurant offerings though, because someone in the house (who I like to keep happy) can't stand the smell of fish cooking.

    I have a quick question, though - why is Maine called "down east"? Or is it only coastal Maine that gets that name?

    1. Oh, Jan. That would make me sad. I love fish!

      As for Down East - it comes from the old fishing days and the wind. Since I love reading Down East magazine, I'll use their explanation.

      "When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was at their backs, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term 'Down East.'

  4. I'm so sorry about Fenway. Will add him to my prayers.

    I, too, love a grainy bread. That looks like something I'd love. But I've never had fish chowder. I bet I would love that too!

    1. Thanks, Missy.

      I have to confess, I pretty much like ANY kind of bread. It's the Irish in me. :)

  5. Give Fenway a gentle hug from me. I nursed a dog through chemo treatments so I know what a difficult journey it can be. Treasure all the moments you can. I'll be praying for you.

    The bread looks amazing. I love crafty bread like that. Not a fan of store bought sandwich bread at all. Another bread recipe for me to try. I'll become a savvy baker yet.

    1. Thanks, Kav. I was never so happy to play ball with him as when he brought his red ball to me to play on Tuesday evening. It was so good to see some energy coming back.

      You're going to have to come host for us and bake us a bread!

  6. I love Lent! I'm making Jan's spanokopita today with tuna sandwiches on the side for Beth's little ones... and it's the perfect Ash Wednesday meal! Simple, good food!


    My heart is breaking for this, remembering Maddie's diagnosis and how quickly that all came to an abrupt end for a beautiful six-year-old dog. I always counseled puppy buyers to remember that for all you hear about the term "forever" home, it's really a temporary love because most of us outlive our pets multiple times.

    But I still wouldn't change that love I have for them. Not a bit!

    Bless you, Fenway, and your wonderful family, too!

    This is where I confess to loving chewy white bread, loaded with cheese and herbs. I'm not a grainy bread person, there's something intrinsically BIRD SEED about it. :)

    I know, I know it's good for me!!!! But I love chewy white bread...

    I am that girl.

    1. But chewy white bread sticks to the roof of your mouth!! ;)

    2. LOL, Ruthie. Given the ingredients, the bird seed comparison actually works.

      Thanks for the kind words about Fenway. You know, I remember when this happened with Maddie. I had a bad feeling then. It was the first time I considered he might not have a long life.

      But this little rescue doggy has survived much in his young life so we're happy just to have had him for at least this long.

  7. Oh gee, makes me hungry for fish or clam chowder in Boston. This recipe sounds so good ... maybe until I can get back to Boston this chowder can tide me over (so to speak).

    Wishes for Fenway's complete recovery.

    Nancy C

    1. Thanks, Nancy.

      It really is a good chowder. You can make it as rich or thin as you like by choosing either milk or cream.

      I like making my own because I tend to go heavier on the potatoes and fish than restaurants usually do.

      Thanks for visiting. :)

  8. Praying for your baby.