I’ve decided that January is the unofficial month of soups and stews. It’s bitterly cold, you’re exhausted from the holiday madness, you just want to hibernate under multiple blankets, and eat nothing but soup, stew, or chili until spring finally emerges. This Spicy Cilantro Lime Salmon Chowder has been a recipe I’ve returned to time and time again especially in winter months and I decided to finally share it with you! It’s loaded with all the good stuff too… bacon, peppers, potatoes, corn, salmon, and a little twist of lime juice and fresh cilantro to top it all off! So emerge from the covers (but only briefly) and get your buns in the kitchen to cook this one up and enjoy it too!
Spicy Cilantro Lime Salmon Chowder
(makes 6 to 8 servings)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2lbs of uncooked salmon
1lb of bacon (minus a few pieces for snacking)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 jalapenos, diced (remove ribs and seeds for milder taste)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1lb red potatoes (about 6-8), scrubbed, rinsed, & cut into small pieces
4 stalks of green onion, diced – save a little for serving
4 cups chicken broth
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbs water
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 can of corn, drained
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Turn your oven to the low broiler setting (about 500 degrees F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle sheet with a few tablespoons of olive oil and lay salmon fillets skin side down. Place in the oven to bake for 7-10 minutes or until flakey. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a large stock pot over medium heat, cook bacon strips until almost crisp. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate until all of the bacon is cooked. Once the bacon has cooled you can break it up or chop it into small pieces and set aside. Drain bacon grease out of the pot, reserving about 2 tablespoons in the pot to cook the vegetables in. Next you’ll add the onion and jalapenos to the pot and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add minced garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes. Next you’ll add the potatoes, green onion, chicken stock, lime juice, and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Bring the mixture to a simmer by covering the pot or increasing the heat slightly. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Mix together your tablespoon of water and cornstarch in a small dish until cornstarch is dissolved. Add to the pot while it’s still at a simmer along with the heavy cream. This will help thicken the mixture up and give you that true chowder base. Turn your heat down to low and add the corn, cilantro, and your bacon pieces.
Using a fork, shred your cooked salmon into bite sized pieces and add to the chowder. Give it a stir, taste test, add more salt or a little lime juice, and then dish it up!