Monday 3 March 2014


Chowder is a  classic French version of a thick seafood or a vegetable stew cooked with either milk or cream. I make this stew very often for my little ones as i can add in milk, fish and veggies all in one bowl to make it a super nutritious meal. 

Few days ago on one of the social networking site i came across a post where a concerned mum of a 1 year old wanted a few tips and suggestions as to how to get her toddler to drink milk.. I think we all know that it is a very common problem faced by most mums (including myself) and our mothers  too;-) I, myself used to hate milk more than any thing else.. none of my toddlers take milk as a drink either..and as i have been there myself the mess and the stress that it brings along as a package is not worth at all, no matter how hard you try it is only *them* who will win the battle at the end of the day! Sooo what choice do we have as mothers?! Just relax and enjoy a bar of chocolate :-) and having said that, on a serious note some clever cooking might be of help !

As I did my own research I found that as long as your little one is getting enough dairy (that can be in any form) be it cheese, yoghurt, custard etc.. it is fine. Hence, why not we mums need be a bit sneaky and  try adding milk into our toddler's food. Adding milk to soups and sauces is an excellent way to get  some dairy into your child's diet. So here i share with you today the recipe of the Creamy Salmon Chowder that has the goodness of milk, veggies and fish all in one bowl. But hang on, just before I do that may I remind you to check on " your child's special dietary needs if any, such as allergies or lactose intolerance etc, etc" Please consult your family doctor or your child 's physician in case in any doubts.

The base idea and inspiration of this recipe is from "Jamie's 30 minutes meal". I have used Salmon fish here in the recipe but feel free to use any other boneless white fish fillets that is available to you ( or whatever fish your little one likes to eat). But make sure you do personally check out for any bones before adding the fish in to the soup. 
Salmon is known to be very high in OMEGA 3 Fatty acids (the good fat), calcium and is one of many few food that has Vitamin D in addition to other nutrients. The veggies can be of any combination  you may grate or chop as you prefer or depending on the texture that your child likes.
Try using Avocados another treasure trove of nutrients.
Awesome bowl food for "expecting" or "nursing" mums and "younger babies" too. Once your little peanut has graduated into solids (at about 8 or 9 months) this french stew is a delicious and healthy way of introducing fish and cow's milk into your babies diet. You may blend or fork mash the chunky bits to adjust the texture.Serve with some multigrain or wholemeal crackers as finger foods.(see notes 1) 
So mums, hoping that this is convincing enough lets take a look at the recipe. To make my version of the Creamy Salmon Chowder you will need:
1-2 tablespoon olive oil/butter
1 Salmon fillet/steak (boneless) medium size.( rinsed and chopped into bite size pcs)
2-3 spring onions chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic crushed 
Bay leaves 1-2 small ones
1/4 cup combo of sweet potato (cooked and diced) , cooked carrot (diced ) or grated
1/4 cup potatoes cooked and mashed lightly
1/4 cup sweet corn kernels and green peas 
1/4 cup broccoli florets cooked
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1 litre chicken stock
11/2- 2 cups of milk ( i use full cream)
1/4 teaspoon of white pepper (see notes)
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped herbs of your choice ( i used dried oregano and basil), chopped parseley or chives or thyme is good too.
1 teaspoon butter  or olive oil to serve
You will also need a whisk, a thick bottomed saucepan and a potato masher.
Yields 4 generous servings.

STEPs for making the Chowder:

Step 1 :Get your  thick bottomed saucepan on high heat. Add Olive oil.
Step 2: Add bay leaf, spring onions green and white, stir fry and add garlic. Saute for some more time until fragrant.
Step 3: Add the fish, sprinkle white pepper and fry until the fish is cooked. Turn off heat now add plain flour and stir well to coat the fish, garlic and spring onion mixture.
Step 4: Now turn on heat and add chicken stock little bit at a time stirring ( or whisking) continuously to get a thick creamy consistency. Making sure there are no lumps at all. You may like to use a small whisk at this stage. Bring it to boil.
Step 5: Once you get a smooth texture add all the veggies. Add milk and herbs. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes and bring to boil on medium heat.
Step 6: Turn off  heat. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and add a knob of butter.
You do not need to add extra salt as the chicken stock and cheese will have salt in them. But if you must , do a taste test and adjust seasoning. If the stew gets too thick add more warm milk to get the desired consistency.
Your Creamy Salmon Chowder is ready to be served. Check temperature and adjust texture before serving. Spoon into their favourite bowls and serve warm.
Notes 1:If you want to offer mixed texture you may do one thing,toss the fish chunks in olive oil first with very lil seasoning and set aside. Once the stew is cooked and blended you may shred the fish chunks before serving. Your baby will take a while to adjust to and accept any new texture and taste.. so allow some time.. through consistent trial and error it will only get better..i was told "patience is the key!:)"
Notes 2: If cooking for adults or older kids you may fry some diced bacon just before adding spring onions. And at the end you may even add small prawns (just before adding milk) to boost the flavour. Substitute cream for milk if you like or use in 1:1 ratio. U may also use some black pepper for seasoning as well. Enjoy this gourmet with some crusty bread or crackers.


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With deep care

EAT as you LIKE..


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