Tag Archives: creamy

Smoked Steelhead Chowder

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I’ve said it before and I can’t help but say it again.  I love living in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon.  And, if you have a few minutes, I’ll give you three reasons why.  First of all, it’s a beautiful place. There are mountains, lakes, and rivers just minutes away.  Second, it’s not crowded like large metropolitan cities such as Portland or Seattle.  You can drive 20 minutes in any direction and end up somewhere in the beautiful Southern Oregon countryside.  Third, I think that it has the best of both worlds.  There’s plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and camping and also there’s the nearby Oregon Shakespeare Festival, dozens of vineyards and microbreweries, and a number of wonderful restaurants that feature spectacular local ingredients.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Rogue River in Southern Oregon

I always love visiting the Rogue River.  Whether it be for hiking along the banks, rafting or my favorite river activity, fishing.  One day on my lunch hour, I briefly stopped by the Rogue River near Touvelle State Park and decided to snap a few photos.  It was a bit overcast that afternoon but the temperature was nearly perfect.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Looking down at the river from the top of the bridge, it’s easy to imagine large fish swimming in the cold deep water below the surface.  And, if you are lucky, you might even see one!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA fly fisherman on the Rogue River

Many types of fish inhabit the Rogue River.  There’s steelhead trout, Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, green sturgeon, coho salmon, and so many more species of fish.  My two favorites are steelhead trout and Chinook salmon.  I prepare those varieties of fish quite often for my family.  As a matter of fact, I serve fish for my family at least once a week.  When selecting fish, I prefer to prepare wild caught fish as opposed to farm raised fish.  In my opinion, the flavor is better, there are no chemicals or additives, no color enhancements or antibiotics.  If given a choice between wild and farm raised fish, the decision is easy.  Wild caught fish is your best bet.

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My Smoked Steelhead Chowder is a deliciously creamy soup made with smoky bacon, roasted russet potatoes, tender onion, fresh  thyme and a splash of heavy cream.  It’s prepared similarly to a  New England style clam chowder but with smoked tender steelhead instead.  It’s great with a slice of warm crusty bread, a crispy green salad or a hot grilled sandwich.  If you are not able to obtain smoked steelhead where you live, feel free to substitute the smoked steelhead with some good quality smoked salmon instead.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound Smoked Steelhead Trout (skin and bones removed, chopped coarsely)
  • 5 cups Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 2 Tbs. Tomato paste
  • 1 pound Russet Potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1 large White Onion – peeled and diced
  • 4 oz. Bacon – chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh Thyme
  • 1 – 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Seasoning Salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper (or to taste)
  • fresh minced Parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  On a sheet tray or baking pan toss together diced potatoes, diced onions, 1 to 2 tsp. olive oil and seasoning salt.  Arrange potatoes and onions in a single layer to ensure even cooking.  Bake until the potatoes and onions begin to turn golden brown or about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, grab a large heavy pot and place it on the stove.  Turn burner to medium high heat.  Add chopped bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy.  Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside.  Turn down heat to low, add 2 Tbs. butter and 1/3 cup flour to the remaining bacon fat to make a blonde roux.  Whisk flour mixture constantly, taking care not to burn, and cook until a very light golden brown.  Whisk 5 cups milk and 2 Tbs. tomato paste and cook until almost ready to boil, whisking constantly.  Add smoked steelhead, bacon, potatoes, onions, 1 tsp. fresh thyme, 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning.  Cook, stirring often, until the mixture has thickened and the flour taste has disappeared, for about 1/2  hour.  Add heavy cream, taste and correct your seasonings. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped smoked steelhead trout and fresh minced parsley.  Makes about 2 quarts or 8 servings.

Cream of Chicken Soup

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I can’t believe that it has been about six months since I’ve share a single recipe from my kitchen. Well, I’m still here and not a day went by that I didn’t think about it. I have to tell you that a lot has happened over the past year. I’ve watched my son graduate from college at the top of his class and then turn around and head off to law school in Washington D.C., I’m nearing the end of an incredibly challenging software implementation at my work, and Bruce took me on an amazing and much needed vacation to Hawaii.  Now after all that mind boggling activity, I am happy that I am finally getting reacquainted with writing about food and my DSLR camera. Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you. I am in the midst of planning my little garden for this year and I am also teaching myself how to knit.

Now back to the kitchen…  I’m sure that you heard me say this before but, I am going to say it again. I love homemade soup.  Not just one type of soup, but all kinds of soups.  And, one of my favorites is Cream of Chicken soup. I like to enjoy a cup of Cream of Chicken soup served with a fresh green salad loaded with brightly colored vegetables or with a half sandwich piled high with thinly sliced ham or turkey. In my opinion, soup made from scratch is cheaper, tastier and depending on the choice of ingredients can be a much healthier option than store bought or what you get from a restaurant.

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Whenever the weather is cold outside or I am in need of something that is simple and soul soothing, a cup of my homemade Cream of Chicken Soup is just the ticket. My Cream of Chicken Soup has a lovely velvety texture with bits of tender chicken and onion with a hint of thyme, turmeric and bay leaf.

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What I really like most about my Cream of Chicken soup is that my sweet husband Bruce loves it! He tells me that he likes the creaminess of the soup and that I make sure that it has plenty of bits of chicken in it. I know that if I can please Bruce with my Cream of Chicken soup recipe, I have a winner on my hands.

It’s feels great to be back in the kitchen.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 onion minced
  • 1 – 2 tsp canola oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper or to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric or to taste (I tend to use more, I love turmeric!)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • minced parsley for garnish

Begin by chopping the chicken thighs into small tiny bite sized pieces.  Set aside. In a large heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid over medium high heat add the canola oil and onions. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly until the onions are cooked through and opaque. Be careful not to burn the onions. Add the chopped chicken and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until the chicken is lightly golden brown.  Add the chicken stock to deglaze the bottom of the pot.  Add thyme, white pepper, bay leaf, garlic, turmeric and salt. Cover and the bring mixture to a gentle boil, cooking for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl make a slurry of the flour and milk.  Whisk well to remove any lumps.  Remove the lid from the soup, and take out the bay leaf and any thyme sprigs.

Whisk the flour and milk slurry into the soup. Reduce heat, stir constantly and cook until the soup has thickened and the flour taste has disappeared (about a half an hour). Taste and correct your seasonings, add additional chicken stock if necessary.  Ladle into cups or bowls and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley for garnish.  Makes about 2 quarts or 8 servings.