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A CANADIAN FISH AND MUSSEL CHOWDER
- 2 cups dry apple cider
- ½ onion, finely sliced
- ½ bunch fresh parsley
- 1 kg mussels, cleaned & de-bearded
- olive oil
- a knob of butter
- 2 leeks, finely sliced
- 2 small fennel bulbs, finely sliced
- 3 large potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 cup fish (or chicken) stock
- ½ cup cream
- freshly ground pepper
- 500 gm cubed ‘steaky’ fish, eg. blue eye
- Bring the apple cider and onion with a few parsley sprigs to the boil in a wok or large pot. Add the mussels and gently cook, removing them as they open and discarding any that don't.
- Heat a little oil with the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot and gently sauté the leeks, fennel and potatoes until reasonably tender, stirring now and again.
- Strain the mussel cooking liquid and add to the pot, together with the stock, cream and a little ground pepper. Stir, cover and gently cook for about 30-40 mins until the vegies are very tender. Then taste for seasoning and mash the potato a little.
- Add 2 heaped tbsp chopped parsley, the fish and mussels. Stir well and briefly cook for a few minutes.
- Serve the chowder in large bowls with good crusty bread on the side.
© Iain Hewitson