Seafood is one of our favourite foods. As we move into cooler weather, we crave heartier dishes such as soups, stews and braises.
Seafood chowder is comfort food in a bowl. The earliest versions of chowder date back to 16th century France. In fishing villages along the coast, families would prepare cauldrons of soup as they waited for the fishermen to return home, adding the seafood they caught that day to the pot. Centuries later, migrants to America took their recipes with them.
Thirteen years ago, when Nonna’s Restaurant opened in Harbourtown, owners Sacha and Damien Kanaghines hopped on a flight to San Francisco intent on stealing the world-famous chowder recipe from Fisherman Wharf in San Francisco. To this day, Nonna’s Seafood Chowder remains a favourite of both locals and tourists alike.
Using fresh seafood instead of the traditional tinned clams, Nonna’s Seafood Chowder is lighter and healthier than many other cream-laden versions of the recipe. Enjoy!
Nonna’s Seafood Chowder
1 stick of celery, diced
1carrot, peeled and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
400g fresh mixed seafood – fish, calamari, prawns and mussels
1 litre fish stock
Pepper and salt to taste
1/8 tsp dried thyme (optional)
1 sourdough boule to serve (optional)
Extra melted butter
- In a large pot, sauté the vegetables and garlic in 20g of the butter for 5 minutes until slightly softened.
- Add the seafood, and lightly cook off for 5 minutes.
- Add the other 50g of butter and the fish stock. Season with pepper and salt. [Add flour to make a smooth roux.]
- Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Leave the chowder to sit overnight to allow the flavours to develop.
- Half an hour before serving, prepare the bread bowl. Cut out a circular piece from the top of the boule 1cm away from the edge without cutting through the bottom of the bread. Brush the inside of the boule with melted butter, place on a baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until the bread bowl starts to brown.
- Gently reheat the chowder and serve in the bread boule with parsley to garnish.
Nonna’s Restaurant, Harbourtown Shopping Centre, Biggera Waters Ph: 07 5529 2000
NOTE: This article was published in The Sun on 11 July 2018.