Simple Fare

Most often, simple is best. Last night we had some friends over and served a humble meal of salmon stew (more like a thick chowder), bannock and salad, with apple pie for dessert. Joe’s stew in particular was absolutely delicious, so much so that I just have to share the recipe. It’s adapted from a recipe in Karen Barnaby’s Screamingly Good Food cookbook.

Salmon Stew
(serves 4)

5 T. unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
1 cup zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1/4 cup carrots, finely diced
1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 T. flour
2 cups clam nectar (I suspect you could also make a stock from the salmon bones and use that)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, salmon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup half-and-half (you can also use whipping cream or creme fraiche)
salt and pepper to taste
a splash of hot sauce (if you want a bit of heat…if not leave it out)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. fresh or frozen parsley, finely chopped
1 T. fresh or frozen dill, finely chopped

In a large pot, melt 3 T. of the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, zucchini, celery and carrots. Cook until the leeks are soft but not brown.

In a separate frying pan, melt the remaining butter, being careful not to burn it. Add the mushrooms and saute until they are tender and any liquid they have thrown off has evaporated. Reserve.

Add the flour to the leeks and stir for a minute. Turn the heat to high and slowly whisk in the clam nectar or salmon stock. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salmon and mushrooms. Simmer until the salmon is cooked through, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper, and hot sauce if you are using it (I think the hot sauce really makes this dish so I would encourage you to include a tiny bit). When the stew is piping hot, add the green onion, parsley and dill.

Serve with freshly baked rolls, biscuits, or Joe’s famous bannock, pictured below. A meal fit for royalty!

Deep-fried bannock
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