Dia dhuit everyone!
This is Irish for hello 🙂
In Ireland they have their own language, Gaelic or Irish. It is a very funny sounding language and difficult to pronounce if you just see the written form! Every child in Ireland has to learn Irish at school and it is still very important there! By law every sign and plaque has to be translated and names of companies such as the ‘Bus Éireann’ (national autobus company) or An Garda Siochana (which is the police) are in Irish, too. It even is very important in the law business and if there is doubt the Irish version of the law is always the legal one. The government does a lot to preserve the language and even sponsors TV programs that send only in Irish.
As you all know already Ireland is an island, which means fishing and eating seafood is quite popular in this country. I remember once buying and transporting a whole half side of a salmon back home to Germany, because my dad wanted to have it! Unfortunatly I had to buy it in the last city I was in (which was Killarney, I did a little backpacking tour on this trip) and the supermarket I wanted to go to because I thought it was big enough was like 2 or 3 miles outside of the city. So what did I do? Of course I walked there because I made a promise, and back walking I went with the half side of a salmon so big, that it didn’t fit into my bag. I still think the passing drivers were laughing at me 😉
In Germany eating salmon is something special. If you are at a buffett and they serve smoked salmon it’s always the first thing that’s gone! People love it, but it definitly is not an everyday food here. But when I told anybody Irish about my plan to buy some salmon to take home (I had to ask for directions!) they were all quite amused 😉 Sure they eat salmon as well, but it does not have the same status as in Germany! Quite a funny thing to notice 🙂
For today I have a Seafood dish for you, that I range in the category of soup – a very chunky one, but still 😉 Since I couldn’t really find traditional Irish salads I thought soup was a good alternitive!
This Seafood chowder has fresh salmon and haddock and smoked mackerel (which I would maybe substitute for a less fatty smoked fish when I do this again) and I even had big prawns in there. But you can use any fresh (white) fish or add mussels if you like them (I would have, but they were only sold in 2kg packs – waaay too much for me).
It is a very delicious dish! I wasn’t sure if the flavors would work together, especially what the smoked fish does in this chowder, but it really was perfect! Traditionally it is served with a big slice of brown soda bread, but I had it with a selfmade rough sourdough bread. Scrumptious!!!
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 onion
- 50g Speck (german bacon, or pancetta)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, cut finely
- 2 bay leaves
- 400g potatoes
- 500ml fish stock
- salt, ground black pepper
- 150g white fish (haddock)
- 200g salmon
- 100g smoked fish (I had mackerel, but a less fatty fish would be better)
- 2-4 fresh big prawns without head but in shell
- 175ml cream
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- if you want: smoked salmon to garnish
- Cut the onion and speck into small cubes and set aside. Peal and chopp the potatoes.
- Take a large pot and melt the butter in it over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the speck and fry until softened. Put in thyme, bay leaves and potatoes and fry a little longer. Add the fish stock and season generously with salt and black pepper.
- Let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are nearly done while you prepare the fish. Skin and debone your fish and cut the flesh into 2cm pieces. Don't make them too small, especially the white fish because they will break up a bit in the chowder anyways.
- Add the white fish, salmon, smoked fish and prawns into the pot and cook gently for another 5 minutes.
- Take the pot from the stove and stir in cream and parsley. Be very gentle to not break up the fish too much!
- Serve the Seafood Chowder in bowls and garnish with smoked salmon cut into stripes or rolled up as roses!
Recipe adapted from Donal Skehan.
Here are the other recipes I shared during this series:
Breakfast – Irish Scones with Raisins
Fast Food – Egg Salad Sandwich & Crisps
Drink – Jameson Whiskey with Ginger Ale
Main Dish – Irish Stew with Guinness
Dessert – Fruit Crumble
Pastry – Barmbrack Sweet Bread