Recipe by Chef Roy Butterworth.

As beef is synonymous with the prairies and mountain regions of Canada so to is the delight of seafood from the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific. Chowders have a special place in the hearts of Canadians, and are as uniquely diversified in content and preparation as the many cultures and family traditions that are the makeup of the land.

12 mussels in the shell
50ml white wine
50ml water
1 shallot, small and finely diced
1 dash ground gloves
1 garlic clove, crushed
10 fresh basil leaves
tsp salt
tsp black pepper
50 ml water
75 ml olive oil
100ml white wine
60g vidalia or regular onion, diced
60g carrots, diced
30g red peppers, finely diced
100g Shitake mushrooms
30g baby arugula greens
300g yellow gold potatoes, large diced
200g sea scallops
300g haddock, large chunks
200g cooked lobster or crab meat
600ml heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

  • In a small sauce pan, add the wine, water, shallots, gloves and garlic. Bring to the boil; add the mussels and cover immediately; reduce to simmer. Cook for 3 minutes, remove the mussels from the pot and discard any unopened shells, separate the meat and retain. Pour the broth slowly into a dish, less the sand or elements separated from the shells. Retain the broth.
  • Place basil, salt, pepper and water in small food processor or with hand-held blender and puree. Add the oil, blend to emulsify and set aside.
  • In a medium sauce pan, add the onion and white wine and reduce by half; reduce the heat and add the carrots and peppers; cover with lid and cook until carrots are tender. Add the mushrooms and arugula, cover and cook only for a further 2 minutes. Remove vegetables from the pan to a plate or bowl and set aside. Do not clean the pan and you will taste why.
  • In the same pan, add the potatoes and enough water to just cover; cook slowly with lid off to promote reduction of liquid; scoop out the potatoes with a perforated spoon into a bowl and retain the liquid.
  • To the same pan add the fish and scallops, bring to a simmer. When the fish is just cooked scoop out carefully and retain. The remaining broth is now developing more flavour.
  • Add the mussel broth, cream and bring to a simmer. At this point you can either add one third of the cooked potatoes to the broth and puree with a hand-held blender or scoop some of the broth and potatoes into a tabletop blender – both processes achieve the same goal for thickening.
  • Adjust the seasoning of broth and add all the cooked components; bring to a simmer and serve. Drizzle with basil oil and Enjoy!
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