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What to do with a dead fish

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A hearty halibut chowder makes a great meal for a cold winter day. I’ve been using the recipe below for years, and never tire of making or eating it.

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I prefer the vegetables to be slightly under-done, not mushy. As for the fish, the bite-size chunks cook quickly, so I add them after the vegetables. If added too early, they fall apart.

Halibut Chowder

(serves 4)

Ingredients

1 pound filleted, boneless, skinless halibut sliced to 3/4-inch cubes

1/2 cup each onion, celery, carrots, green bell pepper, finely chopped

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

4 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp. minced fresh taragon, or 1/4 tsp. dried (optional)

1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated or shredded

1/4 cup parsley or thinly sliced scallion greens

In a 4-quart sauce pan over medium heat, saute vegetables in 2 Tbsp. butter until onion is soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, salt and pepper, and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add milk, halibut and taragon, and again bring to a simmer. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter, combine with 2 Tbsp. flour and stir into simmering chowder. Stir continuously until chowder thickens. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Serve immediately. Garnish with snipped parsley or sliced scallion greens.

Enjoy, and have a happy new year!

Les Palmer can be reached at les.palmer@rocketmail.com.

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