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One Family Meal

Well, hello there!

Sorry for the long hiatus.  I’ve been lucky enough to have been pulled into a few other projects these last few months and those, combined with an awkward and spontaneous summer schedule, have kept me at arm’s length for far too long.

Lucky for you, I’ve amassed plenty of rich material to work with.  Last week, for example, our son had a doozie of a tantrum; one of those hour-long affairs that started when he sat down at the dinner table and realized he was too tired to lift his fork to his mouth.  He managed about two bites of food before lying down on the floor and crying enough crocodile tears to fill a kiddie pool.  The lucky part, in case you’re not following, is that he didn’t even touch the grilled salmon I served for dinner; I had enough left for another meal.

It’s always exciting in a cheating-the-system sort of way when you realize you don’t have to return to the grocery store and start from scratch the following night.  Still, I have to be stealthy when reheating leftovers.  My husband grew up in a family of ceiling-skimmers; three brothers and two sisters with an average height of around 6’3”. When he was a kid, they never had food left after dinner, and he was totally flummoxed the first time I explained the concept of eating something again the following day.

Let’s just say he wasn’t really down with the food version of the summer TV repeat schedule.  He offered to do the cooking the following night if I didn’t feel like it, but that’s not really where I was coming from.

It makes me feel scrappy and resourceful when I can take items out of our refrigerator and reinvent them, instead of having to throw them out, smelly and rotting, weeks later.  I had some corn and potatoes on hand from the prior weekend’s farmer’s market and some thyme from my mother-in-law’s garden, so I decided to flake the salmon into a creamy chowder.

We ate it the following night with a green salad, and my husband asked for seconds.  “Well, it doesn’t count as leftovers if you make something different,” he said, when I informed him he was eating last night’s salmon all over again.  I just smiled and ladled him another bowl.

Salmon, Corn and Potato Chowder
Print Recipe
Serves 4
Think of this versatile chowder as a base to which you can add all sorts of flavorings. I’ve used bacon, ham, chicken and even leftover flaky white fish in place of salmon, and it’s always delicious. It tastes great reheated, but be careful to heat the chowder slowly and only up to a simmer, or the milk may curdle or separate from the butter. Serve it on its own, or with squares of grilled cheese and green salad for an easy weeknight meal.
  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 small onion, diced small
  4. 1 celery stalk, diced small
  5. 1 large Russet potato, peeled and cut into 1” dice
  6. ½ teaspoon salt
  7. 8 grinds black pepper
  8. 1 tablespoon flour
  9. 2 ears corn, shucked and cut from the cob
  10. 4 cups whole milk
  11. ½ pound cooked, flaked salmon, or other protein you have on hand
  12. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  1. Combine the oil, butter, onion, celery, potato, salt and pepper in a 2 to 4-quart pot over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes.
  2. Add the flour and cook for an additional minute. Add the corn and milk and bring up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are done. Add the salmon and thyme, stir to combine, and remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Let sit five minutes for the flavors to develop, then serve, adding salt and pepper to taste. The soup can also be cooled and refrigerated for up to three days. Reheat carefully over low heat.
One Family Meal


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