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Bermuda Fish Chowder

July 30, 2009

This is a very, very liberal adaptation of a recipe I found on  When I saw it, I thought the ingredients looked great- a

bermuda fish chowder

bermuda fish chowder

sofrito, pepper sauce, dark rum and lots of seafood.  But when I went to make it I noticed it called for cooking the fish and shellfish for long periods of time…something I didn’t really have time for at 7:30 at night, and something I was leery of doing because why turn good seafood into rubber?  I could be wrong…cooking the seafood for this long might be good for it.  Mario Batali says you should cook squid for either 30 seconds to keep it tender, or hours to make it tender, so maybe this seafood is the same way and the long cooking will make the seafood tender.  Regardless, I opted for the short cooking route and the results were great.  The sofrito made the broth really rich.  I also reduced this recipe down to a serving size for 2, but kept the vegetables in the sofrito in the same quantities…so there’s a lot of vegetables in it.  You can reduce the vegetables by half if you want fewer of them.  This serves 2 and don’t forget to serve it with some garlic bread to sop up the broth.


2 T unsalted butter

1 medium onion, diced (optional)

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 medium, tomato, seeded and diced

1 c bottled clam juice

2 1/2 c water

2 T tomato paste

1/2 t dried thyme

1 t whole allspice

1 bay leaf

1 t hot pepper sauce (such as Chohula)

12 littleneck clams or mussels

3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

3/4 lb firm white fish, such as grouper or snapper, cut into chunks

2 T dark rum

2 T Worchestershire sauce


Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, green pepper, carrot, celery and tomato.   Saute for 10 minutes, until softened.  Turn up heat and add clam juice and water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer rapidly for 5 minutes.  Add tomato paste, bay leaf, allspice, thyme, hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for another 15 minutes,  until broth is reduced slightly.  Add clams, shrimp, fish, Worchestershire sauce and rum and cover, cooking until the fish and shrimp is just cooked through and the clams open, about 5 minutes.  Fish out the allspice and bay leaf and serve immediately with more hot pepper sauce on the side.

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