By Liz Alderson
A slow cooker or crock pot is a great way of making meals and soups whilst you get on with other things.
It is a fantastic tool in the kitchen for the busy lifestyle that many people lead these days.
There is often time in the day to prepare food, but standing over a hot stove, stirring soup is not a productive use of your time.
This is where the slow cooker comes into its own.
You simply prepare the ingredients, put them into the crock pot and walk away. You can get on with other things, leaving the slow cooker to do its job.
Fish cooks quickly so you don’t need as long as meat dishes.
You can use any mixture of fish you like in this recipe – smoked or plain – oily fish is not suitable though, so don’t use salmon, mackerel or similar.
You need to soften the potatoes and onion – if you were cooking a meat dish, then it would take longer, but with a seafood soup, the cooking time is shorter, so the vegetables need to be cooked a little.
This quantity will serve four people. Most crock pots will be big enough for this amount of liquid.
Try to resist the urge to lift the lid during the cooking time as it will affect the timings because it lowers the temperature.
You’re working on very low temperatures here, so lifting the lid could add 30 minutes or so to the cooking time.
1 lb (450g) fish fillets
4 oz (125g) bacon – diced
1 onion – peeled and diced
1 lb (450g) potatoes – peeled and diced
1 pint (600 ml) milk
1 pint (600 ml) water
1 bay leaf
1 tbspn worcester sauce
Heat the slow cooker to Low while you’re preparing the ingredients.
Fry the bacon bits in a pan until the fat runs – then add the potato and fry for 5 mins or so until it begins to soften. Add the onions and fry a further 5 mins – add a little oil if the mixture dries out.
Transfer these to the crock pot.
Cut the fish into chunks, add it to the pot with the rest of the ingredients.
Cook on low for about 5 hours.
If you like a thicker chowder, then you can use arrowroot or cornflour to thicken – just stir in about 4 hours into the cooking time and leave the chowder for a futher 30 minutes or so.
Serve with crusty bread for a lovely hearty seafood chowder.
There are many other seafood dishes you can cook in the slow cooker – jambalaya, fish stews, fish in wine and soused herrings – the links in the resource box take you to my seafood recipe website where you will find hundreds of seafood recipes.
Liz Alderson is the webmaster of http://find-a-seafood-recipe.com which is a free fish and seafood recipe site giving advice on buying, preparing and cooking fish and seafood.
(Permission is granted to reprint this article, unedited, provided proper attribution is made and the signature line — the above resource paragraph — is kept intact)
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