Tag Archives: Sea Bass

Creamy Fish Chowder with Corn and Potatoes

25 Sep
Creamy Fish Chowder with Corn and Potatoes

Creamy Fish Chowder with Corn and Potatoes

My husband made this delightful (and decadent) creamy fish chowder over the weekend from some of the sea bass we caught off the central coast of Oregon a few weeks ago. He accomplished this after helping me can all those tomatoes I wrote about last post. Super Dad!  I played a minor role in the making of this, helping with a few measurements and prepping the potatoes, but I mainly taste-tested it along the way and of course ate a heaping bowl of it for dinner. Now we have several bags of it frozen for future quick and easy meals.

p.s. The tripod holder insert-thingy on the bottom of my camera broke just as I was setting up to take photos. Because I did not have my thinking cap on, I ended up using a flash for some of the shots, instead of rubberbanding it to the tripod or some other method of securing it (DOH!). Time for a new camera? Yes, I think so.

Fish Chowder Ingredients

Fish Chowder Ingredients

Creamy Fish Chowder with Corn and Potatoes

4 sea bass filets, or other white fish (about 1 pound)
Milk for soaking the fish
6 strips of bacon (optional)
1/3 cup real butter
1 cup onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
8 cups lowfat milk
4 medium potatoes, peeled and 1/2-inch diced
1 cup sweet white corn (fresh or frozen)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Paprika, to taste
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Soak the fish in a bowl of milk mixed half and half with water for at least an hour, or longer in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, cook up a mess of bacon. My husband cooked an entire pound and the leftovers were used for garnish and a BLT for his lunch the next day.  He said he was tempted to use some of the bacon drippings to prepare the roux, but decided his heart would thank him for not doing that. Besides, adding the bacon to the soup gave it plenty of flavor.

Big Pot of Fish Chowder

Big Pot of Fish Chowder

In a large soup pot, melt the butter and cook the onions until just starting to soften. Add the flour, whisking until a paste forms. Very slowly add about half the milk, whisking constantly. Bring up to a simmer until it starts to thicken, then add the rest of the milk, the potatoes, corn, and seasonings. Also add the bacon, which should be chopped at this point.

Bring the soup back up to a low simmer. You need to monitor the heat and stir often, as the milk could scald and stick to the bottom of the pot if you’re not careful.  After about 15 minutes of simmering, cut the fish into bite size pieces and add to the pot, once again bringing up to a simmer until the potatoes and fish are done. Ladle into bowls and garnish with additional chopped bacon. I cheated and ate my garnish first instead.

Creamy Fish Chowder with Corn and Potatoes

Creamy Fish Chowder with Corn and Potatoes

Fresh Ling Cod from Depoe Bay and Dungeness Crab ~ Life is Good

2 Sep
Depoe Bay ~ World's Smallest Harbor

Depoe Bay ~ World’s Smallest Harbor

Oh my, where do I start with this? I left over a week ago after a couple of grueling weeks at work which included a night up until 3:30 am. This was my “release.” No internet, no cell service, and I had the BEST time ever. Really. Good relaxation, good food, great scenery, great fishing, lots of book-reading, Yahtzee-playing, (my husband beats me almost every game) but really, I needed all that

The trip started out not-so-good. We were all packed, heading out of town, and got a mile from the house. “OH! I didn’t pack my favorite shoes!” exclaims the husband. I rolled my eyes but let him turn around anyways. He did a nice  safe turnaround in a parking lot, then we headed back home. Suddenly, he exclaimed, “WAIT, I DID PACK THEM!” Then yanked the steering wheel to the left very abruptly to change lanes to turn around again and WHAM! We are being dragged up the road by a big mongo pickup truck by the front bumper, spewing car parts all over the place. I then said words I cannot repeat here. My most recent issue of Southern Living has a full-page ad on the back that states the new 2013 RAV4s have a “blind spot monitor system” on it. Apparently they are aware of this defect. Sigh….

Lemony Ling Cod with Mushrooms

Lemony Ling Cod with Mushrooms

But we eventually got on our way, and had a fabulous week of fishing, crabbing, and good food. Since we don’t have cell service on our property, it took pretty much all week of phone tag with the insurance company of getting it all lined up, but it looks like I’ll be back in my car in about another week.

Our first boat trip on the Siletz river not only produced no fish, but we got heavily rained on. Well that’s coastal river life, We wore rain gear, of course. But we did catch one crab of regulation size, and had it as an appetizer prior to our dinner of grilled chicken and pasta.

Dungeness Crab Freshly Cooked

Dungeness Crab Freshly Cooked

Then our nice neighbor friend up there, Stan, invited us to go bottom-fishing with him the next day out of Depoe Bay. Depoe Bay is the “World’s Smallest Harbor.”  I have been out of it before on chartered fishing trips in seas up to 15 to 20 feet, and it’s extremely scary. I get sea sick on “high seas.” I am glad to say that the ocean was really calm as we left, and I had  my first bottom-fishing trip without heaving over the side of the boat!

Out to Sea from Depoe Bay

Out to Sea from Depoe Bay

I caught two sea  bass, my hubby caught one, and the star of the show was our friend and  captain, Stan. He caught not only one but TWO Ling Cods, which is my all-time favorite fish. He also  caught about six or seven sea bass. We could not figure out why he was so lucky with his catches except he had his pole between our two.  Either way, he split all the fish 50-50 and for that we are grateful. Thank you STAN!

Stan and his Ling Cod

Stan and his Ling Cod

I made my Lemony Ling Cod at the Coast recipe (<— click for recipe) from his generous donation, except this time I added a bunch of fresh mushrooms to the pan. We froze the rest of the fish and brought it home for future delicious meals. My husband plans on making fish chowder, yumm!

Me and My Two Sea Bass

Me and My Two Sea Bass!

We also checked out a new fishing/crabbing spot on the Salmon River. This is a shallow river that leads directly to the ocean from Three Rocks park, that leads to, well, Three Rocks in the ocean. Absolutely beautiful! We caught three regulation size Dungeness on that trip, but unfortunately two of them were females, which can’t be kept. So once again, only one to take home. That one we cooked and cleaned and also bagged up for the freezer to make it into the fish chowder.

Salmon River

Salmon River

The elusive Chinook salmon evaded us once again this trip, but we plan on heading out there at least three or four more times this fall to try and hook that “big one” for the dinner table. I hope you are having a safe and enjoyable Labor Day!

UPDATE! How did I forget to mention this? While we were heading back into Depoe Bay, we saw two gray whales, a mother and her calf. It was so awesome. I had already packed away my camera but we couldn’t have gotten close enough for a good shot anyways since there were about five whale-watching boats surrounding them. What a great experience that was! Here is a link to one of the charter companies you can pay to go whale-watching with, but we did it all on our own! http://www.tradewindscharters.com/whale.html

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