Life Begins in the Garden: The Power of Fresh Fish

By Sarah Leitzel
 I went salmon fishing in upper New York State with my boyfriend and his father, for the first time this year. What an incredible experience. Waking up before day break, hurriedly pulling on the same clothes in a seedy hotel room to get out the door hoping to beat the rush to the nearby river and small creeks. I could see my breath in the frosty early fall air in the headlights of the car as we pulled on our cold waders. After paying the farmer in the old farmhouse, we sloshed across the shallows of the stream meandering through the cow pasture. We hear a splash and a flop as the salmon struggle to make it upstream to spawn. At daybreak, in go our hooks and we start pulling them in, quickly filling our limit for the day. I can’t wait to make some rich salmon chowder to freeze and heat up on a cold winter day, with a thick hunk of chewy homemade bread.
Salmon Chowder
1lb salmon fillets, skin off and deboned
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 cup light cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups diced red or yellow potatoes
1-2 cups frozen, canned, or fresh sweet corn
Fresh dill or parsley
Broil salmon fillets on a greased baking sheet on high for 10-15 minutes. Let cool and shred. Melt butter on medium heat in large pot on stove, sauté onions and garlic until tender. Add flour slowly while stirring, be careful not to burn butter by decreasing heat if necessary. Add salt and pepper, then chicken broth, milk and cream. Stir gently as it begins to thicken. Add diced potatoes, corn, and shredded salmon. Cook until potatoes are tender, allow to cool slightly as flavors marinate and serve with a bit of chopped dill or parsley on top.
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