The other night, I felt like cookin’ up a big fancyish dinner, so I invited one of my favorite SF couples over for an impromptu mini-dinner party. The menu consisted of the following:

Smoky Fish Chowder w/ Chorizo
Chocolate Whiskey Pots de Crème
Macarons w/ Raspberry Ganache

As you can probably imagine, the chowder was definitely the easiest, so I’ll start with that one!

This is yet another Real Simple recipe (with modified spicing of course), tomato-based, one-pot & utterly delicious! I was smart this time and procured myself some tasty Spanish Chorizo, which is the dried/cured type that usually comes with the ends tethered together. The chorizo imbued the  broth with a lovely spiciness that raw chorizo just can’t provide. So I’m officially converted – cured chorizo for stews from here on out!

Started out by preparing the ingredients… One package of Spanish chorizo, about 8 oz, sliced…

Roughly chopped up 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes…

Sliced up 3 leeks (ahhh… I love my mandoline)!

And opened up a can of my favorite diced tomatoes…

Sauteed the chorizo in my Le Creuset for a couple o’ minutes over med-high heat. The chorizo creates its own juices, so there’s no need for oil or butter or any other pan lube.

Added in the leeks and cooked them for a few more minutes until they were soft & golden. Took me about 3 minutes.

By this point, things were smellin really, really good… like my whole hallway was swathed in the heavenly scent of cured meat. Mmm! Once the leeks were sufficiently sauteed, I turned down the heat and added in the whole can of tomatoes, 3 cups of water and some secret spices. Stirred it all together and let the flavors undulate (ha!) for about 15-20 minutes. I stewed it for a little longer than RealSimple suggests and I think the broth really benefitted from it.

Finally I added in 1.5 lbs of sliced whitefish. Now, I was shocked and utterly appalled by how expensive stupid whitefish is around here! All I wanted was a nice couple of fillets of cod or halibut and it was upwards of $18/lb at all my regular grocery haunts. Obscene! So, since I’ve had good luck with so many of their other frozen fishies, I opted to get my cod at Trader Joe’s… $7/lb. Ah… that’s more like it! The fish itself was a little rubbery (as one could expect of frozen fish), but it definitely softened up and even became a little flaky after 15 minutes of soaking/cooking in the stew. So I utterly endorse the use of Trader Joe’s frozen fish for this recipe!

After the fish was opaque and cooked through, I tested the broth, added more spices and let things simmer for a few more minutes…

And it was time to eat! It smelled so good and we were all starving that I actually forgot to take a serving piccie! But it basically looked like this, but in a smaller bowl. 🙂

Recipe adapted from RealSimple