This recipe always reminds me of my Grandfather's house. When I was little and living in Bermuda, and then again when I spent my holidays there as I got older, I remember fish chowder being a tradition every Sunday. My Grandmother, and then later my Mum, would use up the week's leftover fish and veggies and throw them together into a Bermuda Fish Chowder.
I'm excited to share this recipe as it brings back happy memories for me, and it's also very healthy and pretty cheap to make. It comes from my Mum, though I've made a few alterations along the way.
Bermuda Fish Chowder:
2 big white onions
3 cloves of garlic
5 sticks of celery
1 tin of chopped tomatoes, or the equivalent weight of fresh tomatoes.
8 or so baby potatoes, already cooked as if you're getting ready to make potato salad.
1 really big bunch of parsley
1/2 litre of fish stock* - you can buy this in most good shops, I got mine from Marks and Spencer.
1&1/2 to 2 pounds of fish, I went for fresh tuna but really it could be anything. White fish works best I think.
1/2 tsp of chili powder or a little bit of sherry pepper if you have it.
a couple of big glugs of worcestershire sauce (maybe about 3 or 4 tablespoons)
a good squeeze of tomato paste (maybe about a tablespoon)
1 cup of water if you prefer your chowder more soupy and less stewy.
Finely chop all veg (apart from the parsley and potatoes) and add to a saucepan on a low heat with a little bit of oil, cook until soft and add a little bit of water if the pan gets too dry.
Add as much salt and pepper as you like - but remember tinned tomatoes and tomato paste can be a bit salty sometimes.
Add your glugs of worcestershire sauce, Lea & Perrins, the one and only. Keep stirring your veggies until the harsh smell of the sauce has worn off (thanks Jamie Oliver for that tip)
Add your fish and make sure that it isn't cooking too quickly otherwise it will get dry, gently breaking it up into big chunks as you go along.
Once your fish is almost cooked, add your fish stock and let it all simmer for about five minutes.
While that's simmering, chop your cooked baby potatoes into small chunks, adding them along with the tinned tomatoes.
Add your squeeze of tomato paste, your chili powder and give it all a good stirring. Really you shouldn't be using chili powder, you should be using Bermuda sherry pepper, but it's not so easy to come by. If you are using sherry pepper however, do not add it to the pot - instead add a little bit at a time to your individual serving - that stuff is hot hot hot!
Let it simmer for another five minutes until it's piping hot, and then serve. It goes well with fresh bread.
Enjoy a little taste of Bermuda, I hope you like it!
*Mum's recipe for homemade fish stock: "Pick a day when there is a steady breeze, put fish heads, skins, tails, all of which are collected in the freezer over time. Put them all in a pot, boil them with lots of herbs for hours with the windows and doors open. Drain off the fish and you have the best pure fish stock."
Photo from my Grandfather's kitchen window.