Pan-Roasted Halibut in a Shrimp Chowder with Steamed Cherrystone Clams and Apple-Smoked Bacon

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
Prep:
40 min
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 pounds thick-cut apple smoked bacon, 1/4 pound chopped (the rest left in strips)
  • 3 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 medium leeks (white parts only), halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch slices, well rinsed and patted dry (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shrimp stock or bottled clam juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 18 cherrystone clams, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
Directions

Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and cook the bacon strips until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and set aside.

Place the potatoes in a 1-quart saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and just until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Refresh under cold running water, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the leeks and onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until a light blond roux forms, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, shrimp stock, and 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and white pepper and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the shrimp, clams and potatoes and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the clams open and the shrimp are just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard any clams that did not open. Cover to keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick ovenproof skillet, or in 2 smaller skillets, over high heat. Season each halibut fillet on both sides with 1/8 teaspoon each of the remaining salt and white pepper. Place the fillets in the pan(s), reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until a golden brown crust forms, about 3 minutes. Turn the fish, place in the oven, and roast until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.

To serve, ladle the chowder into 6 rimmed soup bowls, arranging 3 clams around the rim of each bowl. Place a halibut fillet in the center, and lay 3 strips of bacon on top of the fish. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.


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