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How to Cook Blackfish – and a Tautog Chowder Recipe

Colder weather is coming in NYC, but the fishing season is ongoing. Blackfish is a favorite. This fish, also known as tautog, has a mild flavor and firm texture that holds up well. It is also easy to prepare and cook if you are new to fresh fish.

While there are many ways to cook up tautog, a fish chowder is one of the best ways to warm up after a long day out on the water in the cold air. This chowder recipe uses blackfish. It is a hearty dish that shows off the flavor of your freshly caught fish.

Recipe for Blackfish Chowder

Blackfish chowder will take about 1 hour to make, not including skinning and cleaning the fish. For this fish soup, you will need:

  • 1 lb blackfish, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
  • ½ cup yellow onion
  • 1 cup red potatoes, diced
  • 3 cups fish broth
  • 1 13 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You can make the fish stock yourself from the bones and fins of your catch. Simmer them with water, a carrot, onion, celery, bay leaves, and peppercorn. Alternatively, you can use ½ cup clam juice and water in place of the fish stock.

To make tautog chowder:

  • Saute the bacon until crisp. When finished, remove the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Discard all but 2 tbsps of bacon drippings.
  • Add the onion to the pan with the bacon drippings and saute until soft.
  • Put sauteed onion, potato, and fish stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add in the fish pieces and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  • Pour in the evaporated milk and stir to combine.
  • Make a roux. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, mix in the flour, stirring continuously to keep the flour from scorching.
  • Whisk the whole milk into the butter and flour. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to break up any lumps.
  • Add the roux to the chowder base and stir. Cover and let thicken for half an hour.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with crumbled bacon to serve.

The chowder base also works with other fish depending on what you caught that day. You can also substitute bass and link. Regardless of what fish you use, fresh caught will always be best, particularly if you caught it yourself. Plan a fishing trip for tautog in NYC with Marilyn Jean Fishing today.

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