This is the perfect warming bowl after you get home cold and hungry from the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The genius thing is it only takes about 20 minutes to make and is filling enough for dinner.
I recently saw Irish chef Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody House in Wexford on TV making the fish chowder they serve in the hotel. It looked so easy and delicious that I couldn’t wait to make my own version. In Chicago, we don’t have the same selection of fish that they have in Ireland, so I improvised using the wild fish my local supermarket had available. I even threw in half a can of wild Alaskan salmon that I was leftover from lunch. What makes this chowder Irish is the smoked salmon, but other than that, feel free to use any other fish and seafood available to you. I have converted everything into American measurements.
Nil geal an gaire ach san ait a mbionn an biadh — laughter is brightest were the food is best. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
If you like this recipe, please share it. If you make it, please come back and comment and let me know how you made it your own.
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 small leek, cleaned and chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 2 medium red potatoes peeled and cubed
- 2 oz. smoked salmon, cut into strips
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups fish or seafood stock (I used Swanson's seafood stock in a box)
- 1/4 lb. sockeye salmon, cut into bite size pieces and skin removed.
- 1/4 pound cod, cut into bite size pieces and skin removed
- 1/4 pound haddock, cut into bite size pieces and skin removed
- 6 Key West shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp. chopped, fresh tarragon
- 1/2 cup cream
- salt and pepper
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.
- Add leek, onion, carrot, potato and smoked salmon. Saute for a few minutes until the vegetables soften
- Pour in the wine and allow the liquid to reduce by half.
- Add the fish or seafood stock. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then add the fresh fish and shellfish.
- Bring the pot back to a simmer. Add the tarragon, cream, salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve in bowls with fresh bread and butter
This recipe combines two very traditional Irish foods, potato cakes and smoked salmon, to create an elegant and easy first course or brunch dish. It’s a nice way to use up extra mashed potatoes and smoked salmon leftover from holiday meals and would be a lovely addition to a New Year’s brunch with a mimosa. I find it works best with moist mashed potatoes that are made with butter and cream or milk.
Potato cakes, also known as fadge in Northern Ireland, are more typically served along with “the full Irish” breakfast and are delicious, if not heart healthy, when reheated by frying in bacon fat. I have fond childhood memories of my Uncle Jim making potato cakes for us on Sunday mornings, slathered with lots of butter.
My friend Anne suggested an alternative version to this dish for a quick, impressive appetizer for unexpected New Year’s guests. Substitute good quality– such as olive oil — potato chips for the potato cakes and place the smoked salmon, creme fraiche and chives on top of each chip.
Mini Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon
- 2 cups mashed potatoes (mashed potatoes made with butter and cream or milk work best)
- 2 tbsps. melted butter plus 2 tbsps. for frying
- 4 tbsps. flour
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsps. chopped fresh chives plus 2 tbsps. chopped chives for garnish
- 4 oz. smoked Atlantic salmon
- 1/2 lemon
- 5 tsps. creme fraiche
- Add 2 tbsps. melted butter to the mashed potatoes in a medium bowl.
- Stir in the flour, salt and 3 tbsps. of chopped chives.
- Turn out onto a floured board.
- Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness as if rolling pastry and, using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut into rounds.
- Melt 2 tbsps. butter in a cast iron or heavy pan or griddle.
- Add the potato cakes to the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- While the cakes are frying, cut the smoked salmon into 1 inch pieces and form into rosettes. Set aside.
- Remove the potato cakes from the pan onto serving plate. Place 1/2 tsp. of creme fraiche on each cake. Arrange the salmon rosettes on each cake. Squeeze lemon juice onto each salmon rosette. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve.
Using a fluted biscuit cutter will result in a prettier potato cake.