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Fish Chowder with Corn & Fennel
“You can use any kind of fish to make this fish and corn chowder, but try to avoid full-flavored varieties like mackerel or bluefish unless it's straight off the boat or it'll overwhelm the soup. "When you're staring down a new type of fish, chowder is a foolproof preparation," chef Mike Lata says, so try this recipe with different kinds of fish.”
2 ounces bacon, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 small fennel bulb, cored and diced, plus fronds for garnish
1 medium shallot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced, plus tender green leaves for garnish
1 cup fresh corn kernels (1-2 ears)
1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups fish stock
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup heavy cream
2 pounds skinned fish, cut into 1-inch pieces
Dash of Tabasco, or to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Piment d'Espelette for garnish
1Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a small bowl. Add onion, fennel, shallot, celery, corn, thyme and white pepper to the pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in flour to coat and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in stock. Bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and cook until they are tender and the broth has thickened, 18 to 22 minutes.
2Stir in cream and return to a simmer. Add fish, partially cover, and cook until the fish is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.
3Serve the soup topped with fennel fronds, celery leaves, the reserved bacon and piment d'Espelette, if desired.