St. Patrick’s day is just a few of weeks away, and what better way to celebrate than with a recipe that combines the best of the Irish with what’s in season here on Hatteras Island.
With the warm Gulf Stream just offshore, our winters offer plentiful fishing, and Striper season just winding down. Striped Bass, also known as Rockfish or Striper, can be found all along the Atlantic Coast, but it’s here in North Carolina that fishermen land more large striped bass in the winter than in any other state. If you’re up for catching your own fare, surf fishing spots on Hatteras Island are a good bet. Or head to a local market, most of which will be opening their doors back up spring season in the next few weeks.
Creamy Rockfish Chowder (8 Servings)
A step above the typical pub fare of fish and chips, this chowder incorporates winter vegetables like leeks and carrots, with a creamy base that will warm your soul as we march into spring.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 stick of celery, cut on the bias into ½ inch pieces
4 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
3 cups of chicken stock
4 ounces stewed tomatoes, diced
1 carrot, shredded
¾ cup milk
¼ cup cup heavy cream
1 pound striped bass, cut in to cubes
salt and pepper to taste
5 or 6 sprigs of dill for garnish
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, leeks and potato, cooking until potato has softened, about 10 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock, tomatoes and carrots, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add milk and cream, season to taste and stir in striped bass. Continue to simmer, uncovered until the fish is flaky and no longer translucent in the middle, about 10 minutes. Garnish with dill and serve immediately with Irish soda bread or oyster crackers.