There’s some­thing fishy about this one

The Labradorian - - Editorial - Steve Bartlett Steve Bartlett is an ed­i­tor with Saltwire Net­work. He dives into the Deep End Mon­days to es­cape gro­cery bills. Reach him via email at [email protected]­

The fish chow­der was sim­mer­ing.

The recipe was sim­plis­tic, and most in­gre­di­ents were fresh, in­clud­ing cod we hauled from the At­lantic Ocean our­selves.

The broth turned out tasty, and the only thing left to add was the blend cream. Full fat blend cream! That could only make the chow­der even more del­ish, right? (Please don’t tell my fam­ily doc­tor.)

But the re­quired amount of blend cream only wa­tered down the broth, and in my opin­ion, made it taste more like warm milk than seafood chow­der.

Our guests each had two bowls, which is a good sign it wasn’t ter­ri­ble, but I was still rot­ted with the out­come.

My wife, who said the chow­der was fine, con­tin­u­ously tells me I put too much pres­sure on my­self when I cook.

She might be right, but I’m re­ally striv­ing to be a bet­ter cook. I love it! In fact, if I weren’t a jour­nal­ist, I’d be a chef.

I’m also try­ing to live up to my nick­name — Mr. Kitchen. That’s what some have called me for years, although I be­lieve there’s some healthy sar­casm there.

Any­way, there are few things as re­ward­ing as watch­ing other peo­ple en­joy a dish you spent time cre­at­ing from fresh in­gre­di­ents and a good recipe, with a cook­ing tech­nique or se­cret.

When peo­ple take one sip or mouth­ful and lick their lips, I con­sider that a job well done.

When their re­ac­tion is “mmmm,” I give my­self high­fives.

And when they empty the pot and leave no left­overs, I sit back and bask in full-bel­lied sat­is­fac­tion. These are the kinds of re­ac­tions I crave.

Now, let’s be hon­est here. I’m no su­per chef, a Rachel Ray, Jamie Oliver or Gor­don Ram­say, although I prob­a­bly curse as much as he does when a dish goes south.

I have com­mit­ted some culi­nary dis­as­ters, like leav­ing a bag of giblets in the car­cass of an oth­er­wise ex­cep­tional honey-peanut chicken dish or us­ing whole wheat flour for dumplings and end­ing up with hu­man-made rocks in the fi­nal soup, or hav­ing to order pizza for guests in­stead of serv­ing them char­coal (meat un­der broil for too long).

And many of my kitchen cre­ations — es­pe­cially one stew where I for­got salt — have tasted aw­ful. Still, I try.

Lately — after an amaz­ing bowl of seafood chow­der at a restau­rant dur­ing my sum­mer va­ca­tion — I’ve been fo­cused on per­fect­ing that dish.

The at­tempt noted ear­lier didn’t go as planned and the recipe was, as they say on “Corona­tion Street,” dead sim­ple — onions, cel­ery, pota­toes, fish, chicken broth, milk and blend cream. So, I’m look­ing for new chow­der recipes. There’s no trou­ble to find one on the in­ter­net, but I’d rather they came from At­lantic Canada’s kitchens.

Which is where you come in, be­cause I’m will­ing to bet some of you have a su­per chow­der recipe or know of some­one who does.

I’d love for you to email the con­coc­tion to me, so I can try it and share with read­ers. My email is be­low. Chow(der) for now.

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