Thursday night I knew we were going to be home late, and wanting hot food on arrival. I teach yoga Thursday nights, and this week I had a date for a healing session with a friend afterwards. So I knew that it would be probably 10 pm before we got home. And so, this meant a crock-pot dinner was in order. The fridge is looking pretty bare, and I'm trying to be creative (or at least disciplined) at using the lots of food in the freezer and the pantry in order to avoid trips to Fred Myers as much as possible.
I was putting together a very un-inspired tomato and frozen veggie soup and feeling very blah-humbug about it. I kept rifling through the empty fridge and the pantry shelves and the freezer for something to jump out at me. And finally, on my third or so time digging through the freezer, I found it! Last summer, after our Chitina fishing trip, my mom and I froze salmon chowder stock. We'd made stock boiling down the bony and cartilaginous carcasses with some onions and celery and black pepercorns and such goodness. Then we froze the stock along with the scraped off bits of salmon flesh left over after filleting. So I grabbed a quart of this and added it to my uninspired veggie soup, instantly transforming it into a totally inspired Manhattan Salmon Chowder!
I grew up in Maine, eating New England Clam Chowdah. In my heart of hearts, cream based chowdah has always been the only chowder worth eating. I never understood the attraction of a tomato based chowder; and scoffed at the idea of making Manhattan Clam Chowder. But let me tell you what. Salmon chowder, made the manhattan way is a lovely lovely meal! I double checked myself against the 'Joy' to be sure I was on the right track. I always add more veggies than the recipe calls for, so that worked well - I had lima beans and peas and corn and garlic (of course!) along with the canned tomatoes- and more herbs than called for. The recipe asked only for parsley as a garnish and some black pepper, but I put in bay, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper.
It were delicious. I plan to reproduce it for week night dinners this week, and add a pan of cornbread or a salad.