Dog Laundry and Tilapia Chowder

First, I need to get this out… OH MY GOD, THE SUN IS SHINING!!!

The dogs are giving me the stink eye, today, because I’m washing their blankets and beds. With all the rainy weather, they’d been getting extra stinky, and I walked into my office this morning and the smell nearly knocked me down. So yeah… Laundry time. I grabbed ALL of their bedding and did two loads. The two big cushiony beds can’t be tossed into the dryer (which is why I’m particularly thankful for the sun today), and they normally have blankets to cuddle up to on the couch and in their beds. So I walked into the living room and found this on the couch:

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That is not a friendly look from Marcy, and Kato likes to pretend he’s freezing. And then I walked into my bedroom and found this:

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Those are from Kato’s bed. I was trying to be nice and replace the half-chewed blankets in his bed with fresh and clean ones, but he was having none of it. He watched me put those in his bed and then promptly drug them both out and across the floor. Now he’s just staring at the washer and dryer waiting for it to be done.

Moving on…

Remember when I told you guys about Plated? Well, I made a lovely Pollock Chowder from them last week, but they sent me a whole bottle of clam juice, and I only used 1/4 cup of it in the recipe, so of course I decided I needed to make more. And of course with all the rain, it was nice to just cook up a big pot of chowder. When I duplicate Plated recipes, I’ll often make changes based on what I usually keep around the house or can easily find when I’m at Publix. Clam juice isn’t really one of those things, but it was sitting in my fridge, so it got used. So here’s what I used:

  • 2 medium onions (I used yellow, but if you prefer something else, go for it)
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 24 ounces white fish (I used tilapia)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3-5 cups broth (you can also sub in a little clam juice or white wine)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Cut your onion and potato into a small dice and pull the leaves off of your thyme, discarding the large stems. Rinse your fish and pat it dry with a paper towel.

Heat your butter in a large pot (I use my 5-quart Dutch oven) over medium high heat. Once it’s melted and foamy, add your potatoes, onions and thyme. Let that cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Everything will start to get soft but won’t quite be cooked. That’s fine because it’s going to cook some more. Stir in flour until it’s combined (about 1 minute, maybe a little more). You’ll notice it takes on a sticky consistency, and that’s what you’re looking for. Add your liquid, stir, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat back to medium and simmer for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

A quick note on the liquid. If I simply doubled the Plated recipe, I’d be using 1/2 cup clam juice, 1/2 cup white wine, and 4 cups of vegetable broth (5 cups liquid total). I wanted less liquid in mine, so I took out two cups of broth and used a full cup of the clam juice because I didn’t feel like opening a bottle of white wine (3 cups liquid total). If you prefer more liquid or if you think the chowder is too thick, add more liquid.

When your chowder is thickened, season your fish with salt and pepper and add to the pot. You might have to move some potatoes around, but make sure you’re getting the fish in the liquid. Don’t worry if it’s not in there all the way. The steam from the chowder will cook the fish that’s not boiled in the liquid. Cover it, increase heat back to medium high, and cook for about 7 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flaky. Uncover and stir in your cream and then break up your fish into large pieces. Serve with garlic bread.

I’m thinking I might do this again but add roast chicken to it instead of fish. You could probably skip adding meat to it at all if you like. Scallions and/or bacon would be good in this, too.

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