I try my best not to waste food. However, one cannot make everything into a quiche, which is generally my favorite “clean out the fridge” meal. This is because I try to avoid casseroles. Maybe it has something to do with growing up in Wisconsin and spying those trays of blankity-blank casserole with fried onion and cornflake topping that has made me wary, but I’m not a casserole kind of girl, at least not yet.
This last weekend I had an abundance of dairy-fresh 2% milk. My boyfriend and I go to the farmer’s market each week and get ourselves a half gallon, but somehow this week we hadn’t managed to finish a good deal of it. I had even baked a tray of blondies with the intention of downing them with some milk, but there was still a couple of cups left, and so, thinking of the frozen farm-raised salmon I had in the fridge, I thought: CHOWDA. I’ve never made a salmon chowder before, but I’ve done many with cod, so I figured I could apply the same methods and come out with something edible.
And if I may pat myself on the back, it turned out pretty good.
Extra milk wasn’t the only ingredient on the verge (of expiration) that I had to use up. On our way back from the beach two weekends ago, we’d stopped at a farmstand and picked up, among other things, a few ears of corn. Some of the corn was meant to be paired with some spareribs, but there was still ample corn to be had. Also, I had way too many carrots in the crisper turning funny colors, and so I had to salvage those, too with some washing and peeling.
Thank goodness for hearty root vegetables. (If you aren’t already–learn not to fear a little discoloration so long as you can chop or peel off the offending area! )
All that said, this is what I came up with. I was going to save some for lunch tomorrow, but the boyfriend and I polished it off by lunchtime today. So instead, for lunch? BORSCHT. Lots of it. Like, enough for a small Ukranian village. But that recipe is for another time.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups diced yellow onions
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup corn niblets (fresh or frozen)
- 2 cups potatoes, cubed
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 lb. uncooked salmon
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1/4 salt
- chopped, fresh parsley to top
- Melt butter in a large stock pot. Add the 2 cups of diced yellow onions and sauté on medium heat for 6-7 minutes, adding garlic about 4 minutes in, and cook until golden.
- Add chicken stock to the pot and turn the burner to high heat. Add potatoes, carrots, and corn to the stock pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
- Cube the uncooked salmon until 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.
- Add flour to milk and whisk well so there are no lumps. Add mixture to the stock pot and gently stir to incorporate.
- Add cubed salmon. Cook on medium for another 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, and Old Bay.
- Top with fresh parsley and serve hot.