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Please begin with an informative title:

Banner for Kitchen Table Kibitzing

My cast iron pots were a gift from an in-laws in Louisiana who engineer for Citgo. These are specialty crafted and hand finished. Help a cook put their foot in it, yeah.

    In October 2005 I created this account on Daily Kos. Without remembering exactly why I did so, it is safe to assume I wanted to register an opinion on something someone had written. I'd been a regular lurker for at least a year and figured it was time to jump in the deep end. So I wrote a diary, and then another. I posted a bunch of comments and a couple of years later I vanished back into being a lurker, with only minor appearances thereafter.

I used to bug my brother, commonmass, about starting an account and he resisted for a long time, citing Daily Kos as "ok, but no Talking Points Memo". Then, in 2008, he took the plunge and, happy to know that at least one of us was active here, I proceeded back into deep lurker status. Daily Kos remained daily reading for me, often in an open browser window all day, but my account remained dormant. Eventually I found my way back and even had a brief stint as another account when I couldn't remember my password for years and years (not a sock puppet, tyvm).

Through all of that, I was never a Subscriber. The ads didn't bother me and since I wasn't posting I didn't see any value in it. In the past year, as I have become more and more active here I have considered subscribing, especially with ad revenue dropping. I believe in this site, warts and all, and was beginning to feel like kind of a leech.

So, fast forward to this afternoon when I check my email to find that some "Anonymous" Kossack has given me a yearly subscription! That squeaky, glee feeling one gets with an honest surprise? I had that.

Thank you, Anonymous Kossack, for rescuing me from having upload images and video into a draft diary to copy and paste into a comment. Thank you for rescuing me from the embarrassment of having to ask remembranceto edit in the KTK banner when I post a diary here (notice I didn't have to ask you this time?) Thank you for supporting the site by supporting me in what I do on Daily Kos.

I suppose it is my turn next to pay that forward.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Yes, that is bacon frying in butter.
Alright, last night I was phone posting comments again and screwed it all up in regard to a fish chowder I was making that uses hominy instead of potatoes. I call it Bastard Fish Chowder because it's so effectively subverts tradition, and here is the recipe. Please also note that I am one of those cooks who doesn't measure, so I won't be giving you any of that. Use your instinct and smarts and barring those influences, use a cook book.

In the image at the top you see bacon frying away in butter (Always ask your doctor if you are healthy enough for this activity).

After the bacon is half rendered, add a couple diced sweet onions, 5 or 6 cloves of chopped garlic, 3 or 4 stalks of chopped celery and a large shallot (sliced med-thin) and cook translucent. With this add a couple bay leaves, some fresh thyme, fresh cracked pepper and a sprinkle of fines herbs. Do NOT add salt.

Onion, garlic, shallot, celery having sex with bacon and butter. Bay leaf is the fluffer.
Next step is add clam juice (I use Cento because it tends to be a rich flavor) and a quality fish stock (I make my own). Once it hits a low boil in goes the hominy, and here is my feeling about that: I personally like the texture and flavor of hominy, and I think it adds a nice contrast to the fish chowder experience. Having said that, I am willing to bet a lot of folks would not like it and should stick with using potatoes. You have been warned.

The hominy should be pre-soaked for 12 hours and the water changed a few times. Do not use it dry, it takes hours to cook and will ruin your dish. I prefer not to use pre-cooked or canned hominy for this dish.

Dried haddock and hominy (pre-soaked)
I find that a quality dried haddock is a perfect way to deepen the flavor profile, and since we are bastardizing this chowder try not to skip this step. It really makes a difference. Do make sure it isn't a smoked or heavily salted fish. We aren't using bacalao here.

I used a whole filet, and broke it up into smallish chunks. I want it to integrate more than become a mouthful when you eat the dish.

Now is the time to add some mushrooms. No explanation necessary.
I had friends who picked thousands of dollars of morels around Cadillac, MI after the fires in the mid 90's drove their numbers way up.
After simmering the mushrooms, dried fish and hominy for 45 min or so add a cup and a half of heavy cream. Let it integrate, taste and adjust seasonings (here is where to add salt if needed) then add your fish.
Cherrystones, skate wings, cod.
So, wait, clams and skate? Totally in keeping with the bastardization of my New England heritage for a Fish Chowder. In fact, I added so tilapia after the fact because we needed more fish. Who cares? It tastes great.

DO NOT OVERCOOK! Whatever fish you use should be just cooked and tender. Be careful in serving and resist the urge to stir the pot, it breaks things up. Serve hot with fresh bread.

What it is.
Now, if you are a chowder snob (and I do know a few) here is a recipe with a pedigree you can brag about.
John F. Kennedy's Fish Chowder.

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate.

Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

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