When you live by the salt water, it’s almost a given that you learn how to cook some kind of seafood. Growing up beside Mount Hope Bay until the age of 10, I was too young to appreciate my mother’s expertise with seafood; also, she had five children and little time to spend mastering the finer points of cooking. There are a few simple seafood dishes I do remember loving, though. Her clam chowder was the Rhode Island style—light on milk, heavy on broth and clams. To this day, that is my favorite kind of chowder. Mom turned 90 this spring, but she still has a gift for frying fresh fish fast in light bread crumbs and butter. Served with a squeeze of lemon, it just melts in your mouth.
Over the Fourth of July, we savored a new recipe from Mom’s old box of favorite dishes: baked fish chowder. After a long day of traveling, there was nothing better than a big bowl of this hot tasty stew, served with a salad of greens from the backyard garden and some hot bread. The recipe came from her cousin Caroline. Mom used to visit Caroline and her other cousins every summer on Cape Cod—happy childhood times that she still treasures. I’ve shared the recipe to the right. Let me know what you think and when you have a minute, send me your favorite chowder recipe. We’ll be happy to pass it along to our readers on our website.
This issue is all about the pleasures of great meals, whether it’s at one of the fine featured restaurants in our dining section (be sure to peruse our waterview dining list!) or a fabulous recipe shared by a local bakery for fresh fruit pie. Dig in and enjoy chowders, pies, salads, and more from cooks who have been inspired by life in this wonderful culinary melting pot. From Bourne to Wellfleet, Edgartown to Sandwich, there’s something here that will satisfy every taste.
Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher & Editor
Cousin Caroline’s Baked Fish Chowder
- 2 pounds haddock (or cod or pollack)
- 4 potatoes, cut small
- 3 onions, chopped fine
- Celery leaves, chopped fine
- 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dill
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth
- 2 cups boiling water
- 4 cups scalded cream (half-and-half)
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Cut fish into small pieces and add all ingredients except cream into a low casserole dish. Bake all ingredients for one hour.
- Add scalded cream just before serving. Enjoy!