Fresh Salmon Chowder
© Ann M. Evans

I make this light chowder in the winter and early spring with fresh Pink Salmon I line catch in Alaska on fishing trips. Pink Salmon often isn’t as tasty grilled, so I’ve created ways to use it with other ingredients such as salmon mousse and salmon cakes. I usually fresh freeze white, sweet summer corn from Yolo County, which I think adds to the flavor, but commercially frozen corn will be fine too. If you grow red hot peppers in your summer kitchen garden, you can use one of them in the recipe.

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 red hot pepper, seeded and minced (use seeds according to how much heat you like)
½ pound red potatoes
3 cups water or pot likker
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup milk, 2% is fine
¾ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pound salmon, skin and bones removed, cut into small pieces
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

Over medium heat in a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sautee for a few minutes, then add the celery, pepper and sautee until onion is golden, about five more minutes. Add the garlic and hot pepper and stir until garlic is golden, about one minute. Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Add the water or pot likker and corn, and cook with the lid on until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the milk, salt and pepper and stir until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.

Add the salmon. With the lid on, cook until the salmon is flakey and opaque, about six to eight minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve warm.

Serves 6-8