I'm afraid Calmer Half wants me to make this again, so I'm dutifully trying to transcribe "A pinch of this, a handful of that, and the chunk of hot-smoked salmon in the freezer" into proper recipe amounts. Take all amounts with a grain of salt.
Smoked Salmon & Clam Chowder
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp bacon grease
2 medium onions, diced fine
1/2 cup crumbled bacon
1.5 teaspoons cajun seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
juice from one can of clams
reserve the clams to add separately
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp thyme, dried
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 can diced hatch chiles, drained
2/3 of a can of corn, rinsed and drained 3 times
1.5 pounds of hot-smoked salmon (or a can of salmon, drained)
1 pint heavy cream
1 steamable pack of cauliflower rice
3-4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
2-3 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped fine
1. In dutch oven, melt butter and bacon grease, and saute onions and shallot. Toss in cajun seasoning, too. When they're fairly well translucent, add garlic and saute for thirty seconds.
2. Add the chicken stock, celery seed, thyme, mushrooms, and the clam juice. (Reserve the clams.) Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, put a lid on, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
3. After 20 minutes, remove the lid (hot!), and use an immersion blender to turn everything into a slightly chunky puree. Start the steamable cauliflower rice pack in the microwave.
4. Add the hatch chiles, corn, clams, salmon (not the skin), fresh herbs and heavy cream. Mix well.
5. Return to a simmer, and after about 5 minutes, taste, and turn off the burner. Should be ready to serve.
Note: all the cans except the clams are drained because otherwise this would end up way too salty... and canned corn needs the three rinsings to lose the tinned taste. If you're using canned salmon instead of hot-smoked, add a touch of worcestershire sauce for the savoury note.
Next time, might add a little more chicken broth, as this was awfully chunky thick stew consistency. On the other hand, Calmer Half likes it that way.