Lately, my wife and I have been experimenting with making our own bone broths and stocks for cooking. We’ve found that it’s a great way to get more out of the meats we buy or catch, and it’s an essential part of many recipes that require beef, chicken or fish stock. One of those recipes and a favorite of mine is New England Style Fish Chowder.
‘Omilu in the Morning
I headed out early in the morning for a inshore paddle off Ewa Beach with my neighbor Heidi. All week I had been looking forward to trying out some Campania Lures from my kayak using a bubble-float rig, and they did not disappoint. We took numerous strikes on the Pearl Jam grub. We released 3 baby Papios and kept an 11″ and a 15″ Omilu (Bluefin Trevally) for dinner.
Gear Info: Ocean Kayak Zest II XL Kayak, Werner Paddles, 5′ Baramundi Rod, Shimano Stradic 4000FJ, Power Pro Mainline, Yozuri Pink Fluorocarbon Leader, Maruto Limerick Hook.
One of my favorite things about fishing early in the morning is that if you catch right away, you have the rest of the day to cook, or in my case take a nap. After I woke up, I got right to work on prepping the fish.
Check out Ewa Beach Buy & Sell’s Second Annual
WEDNESDAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING SALE
Wednesday 11/26 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Brand New Fishing Gear – Best Prices of THE YEAR!
Making Fish Stock
I cleaned and filleted the Papios, leaving the rib cage with meat attached for a richer broth. Be sure remove the gills and rinse out as much blood as you can from the head.
Place the fish scraps in the bottom of a stock pot and fill it with enough water to completely cover them. You can make it plain, or add thinly sliced carrots, celery, and onions with some salt, thyme, and peppercorn for a tastier broth. Once the fish and veggies start to simmer, you’ll notice a froth forming on the top of the water: be sure to skim it off before it starts to boil.
Bring the water to a boil then reduce to low heat and let it simmer for 2-4 hours. When it’s done, ladle the stock from the pot through a fine mesh strainer so you don’t get any bits of fish, bone or vegetables in your stock.
You can let it sit at room temperature if you’re going to use it that day or it can be refrigerated for later use. The two Papio carcases and vegetables yielded a little over a quart of some awesome tasting stock which was pretty ono just by itself.
New England-Style Fish Chowder
I based my recipe off of this one from The Food Network: New England Fish Chowder
8oz Package of Bacon
2 Tablespoons of Butter
1 Large Yellow Onion (Diced)
~4 Pounds Small Yukon Gold Potatoes (Quartered)
1 Large Russet Potato (Skinned and Thin Sliced)
1 Quart of Fish Stock
4 Sprigs of Thyme
Salt & Pepper
3lbs of Papio Filets
1-1/2 Cup Of Cream
1/4 Cup of Chives
1/4 Cup of Italian Parsley
The original recipe calls for 4oz of Bacon or a salty pork to get the chowder started, but it’s intended to only be used as a garnish… Ha! The bacon becomes a main ingredient in this chowder! Cut a whole 8oz package of bacon into 1″ pieces and brown on a medium heat until the bacon is cooked (but not crispy yet). Add the onions and butter and saute until the onions are translucent, but do not allow to brown.
I found that Yukon Gold potatoes don’t break down that quickly, so I decided to add a whole skinned and thin sliced Russet for that starchy thickness I like so much without having to sacrifice any Yukons to get it.
Once the bacon and onions are ready, put the potatoes and Thyme into the pot, then pour in enough stock to cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or until the Yukons are tender.
Cut your fish filets into strips and place them directly on top of the cooked potatoes. Try to avoid stirring the pot once you add the fish to keep the pieces whole.
You can keep the pot at simmering at a low heat when you add the fish and let it cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes which will finish cooking the fish.
Gently stir in the cream and add salt and pepper for taste. Give the chowder about an hour of sitting undisturbed to really let the flavors even out. Finely chopped Italian parsley and chives are a garnish you won’t want to skip; the flavor is pretty essential to the whole Chowder Experience.