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Smoky Salmon Chowder with
Lemon Pepper Crackers



 SeaBear Smokehouse - Northwest Smoked Salmon

“Chowder breathes reassurance.
It steams consolation.”

~ Clementine Paddleford

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Smoky Salmon Chowder with
Lemon Pepper Crackers

Sara Moulton
Cooks at Home
by Sara Moulton, 2002,
Broadway Books/Random House

“This hot and hearty chowder is a great dish for a winter weeknight.
[Gee, Sara, I think it is more festive that that!] Made with milk, not
cream, it’s healthier and lighter than a classic chowder, although
it feels plenty substantial going down. (The downside is that this
recipe may end up looking a little curdled. Made with cream, it
wouldn’t curdle.) [So, if you are entertaining, surely you'll make
it with cream, no?]
The crackers provide the chowder with a tangy counterpoint. I had
never made crackers before, but they turn out to be surprisingly
easy – a simple variation of pie dough rolled out thin and baked.
(Substitute good crusty country bread if you like.) Add a tossed
green salad and you have a complete and satisfying meal.”

Serves 4 to 6

For the crackers:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter,
chilled and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt for sprinkling

For the chowder:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pound large boiling potatoes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk, heated
Kosher salt to taste
1 pound salmon fillet, skinned
1/4 pound smoked salmon,
finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

To prepare the crackers, combine the flour, pepper, lemon zest, and
butter in a large bowl. Blend with fingertips or a pastry blender until the
mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the sour cream, lemon juice, and
1 tablespoon cold water. Toss to form a stiff dough. Turn out onto a
floured work surface and knead briefly into a ball. Add a teaspoon or
two of cold water if the dough appears to be too stiff. Wrap the ball
in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 15 minutes. (The
dough can be made up to a day in advance.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the ball in half and, working with
one half at a time, roll the dough out 1/16 inch thick. Use a 2-inch cookie
cutter to make 16 rounds. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Gather
the scraps, reroll, and cut them into rounds. Transfer to an ungreased
cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake in the middle of the oven for 8
to 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes before
serving. You should have about 32 crackers.

To make the chowder, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat; add
the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into 1/3-inch cubes. Whisk the flour into the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, pour in the hot milk, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Add the potatoes, season with salt, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until
the potatoes are almost tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the salmon and cook
until slightly firm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a
plate and break into chunks. Add the chunks, the smoked salmon, the dill,
and the lemon juice to the hot chowder. Season with salt and pepper and
simmer until just heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve hot with the
crackers on the side.

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