Andrew Zimmern Inspired Chowder

What do you do when you watch Andrew Zimmern eat an insanely delicious looking cod chowder on Bizarre Foods?

You make your own kick ass chowder, of course.

You sautee a leek, a shallot, a couple of carrots, and some celery in a big buttered stockpot.  You need plenty of butter and oil won’t work here. Butter and fish are simply magical in a soup.

When the mirepoix is soft and translucent (10 minutes or so), you are going to cube up some washed potatoes (I use Yukon Golds, but any old kind will work) and toss them in, skin on.  Make the cubes pretty small so they will cook quickly.

Throw in a bottle of clam juice.  I know, it sounds super freaky.  But I PROMISE YOU…it adds this briny, clean, umami kick to the soup that you just can’t get otherwise.  Trust me here.

And some stock.  We used seafood stock.  You can use veggie or chicken if you like.

Some nice white wine.

A can of tomatoes – totally untraditional, but OMG so delicious.

A few sprigs of thyme and some pepper.  Now put the lid on and let the whole thing simmer for about 25 minutes.  When you taste the chowder, the potatoes should be creamy but not falling apart, the carrots should be tender, and the soup should be acidic and only vaguely seafood-y.  Here is where we fix that:

Toss in whatever kind of seafood you want.  We used prawns, clams, oysters, and three different kinds of white flaky fish.  If you can get your hands on cod, it is delicious here, but sole, snapper, or any other kind of flaky, white fish would be perfect here.  You want the fillets all equal in thickness and side so they cook evenly.
And nice jumbo dayboat scallops.  Nothing like them in the world.  So sweet and delicate.

Put the seafood in, turn the stove off, and cover the pot.  When the fish is translucent, take it out!  When the shellfish opens, take it out!  Then…it’s DONE!

Take the skin and shells off all the shellfish before adding the seafood back into the pot.

Pour some heavy cream in tableside for a particularly elegant production.  And oh yes, this is particularly elegant.  It is so fresh tasting and hearty without being heavy.  The oysters and mussels are sweet and juicy, and the fish is tender and flaky.  The potatoes are creamy, the leeks are soft, and the tomatoes are gently acidic next to the salinity of the clam broth and the prawns.  The thyme is fragrant and earthy, and the cream just rounds everything off to make it comforting.  This is delightful. And this is what you do when Andrew Zimmern makes you hungry!


  1. True. Too true. Sometimes you just gotta give into your cravings and get the job done. This looks delish!

  2. whozyerdanny says:

    I can see why this got you going….amazing!

  3. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Joanne-Thanks lady!
    @Whozyerdanny-Thank you so much! It was seriously easy and seriously delish!