Vintage Chowder

This dish is inspired by my absolute favourite restaurant in Dublin (and possibly the world): The Vintage Kitchen. It’s a tiny little restaurant with an open kitchen beside Mulligans pub (best Guinness in Dublin according to yer man). They have a very small menu which changes regularly, and focuses on great ingredients and straight forward food. They also have a BYOW policy, which doesn’t hurt. To top it off, the staff are wonderful, it’s incredibly good value, and if you’re a fan of vinyl, you can stick on your own record.

It’s so popular, that you have to book well in advance. Weekend evenings, in particular, fill up very quickly, and you’d want to get in there now if you want to deck the kitchen with boughs of holly…

About two years ago, on one of my first visits there, I tried their smoked haddock, chorizo and samphire soup. It was divine. Spicy and creamy with a sharp seaside undertone. I have been dreaming about it ever since, and this is the closest I’ve ever gotten…

If you wanted, you could prepare all of it (up to before you add the fish) in advance and just heat it up and poach the fish before serving. It wouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.

Vintage Chowder

Serves 4 as a main course or 6-8 as starter

Vintage Chowder

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 1 small stick of celery, very finely chopped
  • handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • 200g chorizo
  • 100ml white wine
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. tomato purée
  • 400ml fish stock*
  • cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 150g smoked mackerel/haddock (and milk)**
  • 200g monkfish**
  • 200g salmon**
  • 100ml cream
  • 100g samphire

Method

  1. If using smoked mackerel or haddock, put in saucepan, cover in milk, bring to the boil and poach for 5 minutes
  2. Heat the olive oil in a big saucepan
  3. Add the onions, carrots and celery, and sauté on a low to medium heat for about 15 minutes (until soft). Add the parsley, and cook for another 3 minutes
  4. Add the chorizo, and cook for a further 3 minutes (until it begins to change colour)
  5. Add the white wine and turn up the heat to high. Heat until the wine reduces by about half
  6. Add the tomatoes, honey, tomato purée and stock
  7. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Taste halfway through, and add cayenne if not spicy enough (You can stop here and do the rest when ready to serve if you like)
  8. When ready to serve, heat to boiling, reduce to a simmer
  9. Add all of the fish at once (including mussels and clams, if using)
  10. Cover with the lid, and poach for between 5 and 7 minutes
  11. Check the fish to see if it is flaking. If using mussels and clams, the shells should be open
  12. Stir in the cream
  13. Serve with samphire on top

 

*I bought mine from my fishmonger. They sell it fresh. Chicken stock should also work, or even water. If you use prawns, you can easily make stock by boiling the heads and shells for 30 minutes

**Feel free to substitute the fish for whatever you have. Mussels and clams would also be delicious, as would any solid white fish

 

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