Enjoy A Taste Of The Sea

Traditional Irish stew may get a lot of fanfare, but another hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dish can chase away the chill after a day spent cheering along St. Patrick’s Day parade participants: seafood chowder.

Ireland is an island nation, and many delicious dishes have been inspired by its surrounding seas. One bowl of seafood chowder may convince people to revere it as much as other broth-based dishes.

Chowder is a type of stew or soup prepared with milk or cream and thickened with other ingredients. Seafood is often a protein of choice in these dishes, and this recipe for “Seafood Chowder With Crispy Bread Crumbs,” courtesy of “Real Simple Easy, Delicious Home Cooking” (Time Home Entertainment) from the Real Simple Kitchens, delivers all of the classic chowder flavors.

Seafood Chowder With Crispy Bread Crumbs
Serves 4

1 slice sandwich bread, torn into pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks (light green and white parts only), thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
11⁄2 pounds skinless cod, halibut, or sea bass fillet, cut into 2-inch pieces
12 littleneck clams and/or 1⁄2 pound cockles
1 cup half-and-half
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat oven to 400 F. In a food processor, pulse the bread and 2 tablespoons of the oil to form coarse crumbs. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing once, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the wine to the saucepan and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes more. Add the clam juice and 11⁄2 cups water and bring to a boil.

4. Add the cod and clams to the saucepan, reduce heat and simmer gently, covered, until the cod is opaque throughout and the clams have opened, 4 to 6 minutes. (Discard clams that remain closed).

5. Stir the half-and-half, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper into the chowder, and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the parsley and bread crumbs.

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