My sister gave me a giant bag of fresh marlin last week. This is not a fish I normally eat (well, I don't normally eat fish at all) but she assured me it was a small marlin, meaning the flavor was more likely mild and the texture less tough. She was right.
Hey, look at this giant onion! I had to show you this monster from Costco. Chopping half of it yielded 2 cups.
Back to the marlin. It is a very meaty fish, so I chopped it fairly small (1/2 inch pieces) and made double sure it was not over cooked. We'll get into the cooking part in a minute. This was my first attempt at fish chowder, prompted by a need to get creative with this type of fish.
I'm thinking of submitting a recipe to a contest Hawaiian airlines is putting on. If it's good, will you vote for me?
I realized after making the chowder that the half & half I used was fat free. Don't do that. You need that extra fat and flavor.
So what should I do with the rest of the marlin?
Have a great weekend! Recipe is below. Can't wait to show you the yummy brownies I made for Dustin's birthday.
Inspired by: Simply Recipes New England Fish Chowder
1 TBL butter
1 TBL olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
6-7 red skinned potatoes, chopped
2 cups of vegetable or fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt*
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 - 1 1/2 lbs firm white fish, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (we used marlin as this is what we had on hand, use whatever is available in your area)
1 1/2 cups half & half or cream
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the stock, potatoes, bay leaf, salt* & pepper, paprika, and chile flakes. The potatoes need to be barely covered by the liquid, if not add a little more stock or water. Cook, covered for 10-15 or until nearly done, we don't want mushy potatoes.
In a separate pot, heat the cream or half & half until steaming. DO NOT BOIL.
Add the fish and heated cream to the pot. This is the part you need to pay extra attention to. Turn the heat down to low. It is very important that you neither boil nor simmer the chowder at all during the cooking process or the milk will curdle. It should steam and that's it. Keep it on the heat just long enough to cook the fish through, maybe 10 minutes. Don't even think about walking away from the cook pot during this 10 minutes. You need to be sure that sucker doesn't get too hot and check every couple minutes for doneness of the fish. You don't want to over cook the fish either, as soon as that pinkish translucentness is gone in the middle, it's done. Let the soup rest for about 30 minutes and serve.
This was so much easier and turned out better than I thought it would, I hope you'll try it. Enjoy!
*Salt note: Some stocks are very salty, some not so. Please taste your stock before adding and then decide how much extra salt to add. Taste the chowder as you go along so you'll know if it needs more seasoning.