Seafood Chowder with Chorizo

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Seafood Chowder with Chorizo:

An easy but elegant Chowder!  A flaky white fish (Cod is fine!), maybe a few Bay Scallops, and if you’re really feeling decadent, a chunky bit of Halibut.  Already-roasted tomato bits are totally optional — But add flavor and color.

Ingredients / Prep:

Butter / Olive Oil
2 ounces Spanish Chorizo — skin removed and chopped
1 medium sweet Onion — chopped
1 teaspoon smoked Paprika
1 Bay Leaf
2 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 or 3 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes (Russet OK) — cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 to 3-1/2 cups Seafood Stock
1 teaspoon Salt / Pinch freshly ground Pepper
1/2 cup roasted Red or Yellow Pepper — chopped
1-1/2 pound white flaky Fish Fillets (Cod is fine, and/or a few Bay Scallops)
1 cup bits of Roasted Tomato (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup Cream (or half-and-half)
2 tablespoons chopped Chives (for garnish)

Instructions / Assembly:

1. Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add chorizo and cook until not quite crisp. Remove from the pan (with slotted spoon) to drain on a paper towel.

2. Add onion to pot and sauté in fat, until onion is softened. Add chopped red pepper, saute a bit longer.  Add paprika, bay leaf, and potatoes. Add sprigs of thyme (can pick these out later). Add stock, making sure there is enough to cover the potatoes by an inch. Bring chowder to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer (till potatoes are cooked), about 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Cut fish fillets into large pieces, gently slip into chowder. Cook on low heat until fish easily breaks apart in bite-sized pieces. From 5 – 8 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. When fish is cooked through, remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs; add cream, adjusting amount to your preference.  Add roasted tomato bits, if using — Simmer two more minutes.

4. Ladle hot chowder into bowls, garnish with reserved chorizo and chopped chives.