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Bass Cheek Chowder
submitted by: Paulette Kenyon

 

For those of you who know that fish cheeks are delicious, I have a recipe here for largemouth bass cheeks. Of course, if you have other fish cheeks, such as striper, lingcod, salmon, etc., that should work just as well.

The following recipe comes from a new book, Simmering Suppers: Classic & Creative One-Pot Meals from Harrowsmith Kitchens. This book like everything I've seen from Harrowsmith, is excellent; and, I found my mouth watering constantly as I read it.

Included are delicious versions of many of my favorites, such as goulash, onion soup, and chicken pot pie. For the hunter, there is a sampling of recipes for pheasant, duck, goose, and rabbit. The stewed rabbit recipe looks particularly inviting.

The selection of fish chowders, soups, and stews is one of the best I've seen. Also included are tasty classics, such as Jambalaya, Bouillabaisse, and Paella. Go for it!

Bass Cheek Chowder

"The cheeks of a largemouth bass can be quite sizable and are known as the fish's "filet mignon" by those in the know." The chervil should be added at the last moment to get the benefit of its delicate anise flavor. This soup is best made a day or two ahead.
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. tarragon
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 2 C milk
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1 C largemouth bass cheeks (other fish cheeks can be used)
  • 1 C light cream
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • chopped fresh chervil
In a large soup pot, heat chicken stock, potatoes, tarragon, paprika, salt & pepper.

Melt butter in a skillet, and lightly sauté bass cheeks (or sole or scallops), onion, celery, and bacon. Add to stock mixture. Stir in wine and simmer until potatoes are cooked. Do not boil. Add milk and cream slowly, stirring constantly; do not boil or it will curdle. Add cayenne. Garnish with chervil.

Variation: Substitute sole or scallops for bass cheeks. Yield: 4 servings Preparation Time: 1 hour

Recipe from: Helen Shepherd, Lyndhurst, Ontario.

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