Pacific Coast Seafood Chowder ~ Why Pacific Coast?
Because that's where I am, and where my seafood for this chowder is from. :)
Growing up on the Peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area, we were surrounded by water; the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Naturally, since my dad was an avid boats man and fisherman, the fish he caught was on the table frequently (sometimes it seemed TOO often for us kids.)
From the bay we usually had Sea Bass. Other times he would take family and friends on overnight excursions out in the Pacific through the Golden Gate for Salmon, Rock Fish, Snapper and the like. Another treat was fresh, trap-caught Dungeness crab.
The bass was either baked or poached. Rock Fish and Snapper were usually pan-fried.
Years ago our summer vacations were spent on the boat in the Sacramento River Delta, then we would occasionally have big fish frys (usually catfish) with friends from other boats. While there we would catch bass, often crayfish/crawdads, once in a while carp, and less frequently, sturgeon. I don't remember eating the carp or sturgeon.
Salmon was fixed a number of ways; broiled, baked, poached, steamed or grilled. My French grandfather would sometimes gently poach the most lovely salmon cheeks and serve them with lemony-garlic butter, or his silky hollandaise. YUM! And, because the salmon was so plentiful, mom and dad brined and moist-smoked a good portion of it for our own enjoyment, and as gifts for family and friends.
That was always a great treat, and everyone always looked forward to receiving filets of freshly smoked succulent salmon.
Of all the fish we had though, the ONLY way I remember my folks making seafood chowder was the brothy tomato based style (similar to Manhattan clam chowder.) I still like that style very much, but I also like seafood chowder prepared this way, too. No long simmering either, so it can be on the table in well under an hour, but it's great when reheated as well.
Recipes for this kind of creamy chowder are made using generally the same method ~ however I devised this one because I wanted a recipe that was not too gloppy and thick as some tend to be so the seafood flavors are prominent. Milk replaces the cream (or half and half), though it does contain butter so it is not low fat.
One thing is for certain... it is very flavorful and it is my all-time favorite Seafood Chowder. The perfect thing to chase the chill on a damp, gray day.
If it sounds like something you might like I would love to share my recipe with you. If you try it, I hope you'll find it as enticing as we do.
You can find it HERE on my recipe blog.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!