Gurnard chowder

Gordon Jones flavours his chowder with a heady stock made with smoked salmon trimmings
Gurnard chowder
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the stock

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • dashes of olive oil
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 300 ml water
  • 300 g smoked salmon, trimmings
  • 1 lemon, pared zest only
  • 1 sprigs summer savory, or young rosemary

For the chowder

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 knob butter
  • 100 g baby cauliflower, chopped
  • 100 g purple cauliflower, chopped
  • 100 g romanesco cauliflower
  • 300 g mixture waxy, floury and new potatoes, chopped
  • 100 g baby fennel, chopped
  • 200 g girolle mushrooms
  • splashes white wine
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 4 skin-on gurnard fillets, scaled and pin-boned
  • 2 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • dashes of olive oil

To serve

  • 1 knob butter
  • 1 small bunch rainbow chard
  • 8 courgette flowers
  • 1 small bunch yellow flowers fennel, (not the fronds at the top of the bulb)
  • extra virgin olive oil


1. For the stock: fry the shallot and garlic in the oil in a large saucepan or stock pot until softened. Add the coriander seeds and bay leaf. Pour in the wine and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.

2. Add the chicken stock and water, bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the smoked salmon and lemon zest. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse while you get the chowder underway.

3. For the chowder: fry the shallot and garlic in butter in a large pan until softened. Add all the cauliflower, potatoes and baby fennel, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, then add a splash of white wine and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.

4. Strain the smoked salmon stock into a large jug and add enough to the chowder to cover the vegetables. Simmer for a further 3 minutes until the vegetables are just cooked. Season with salt, pepper, half the lemon juice and a knob of butter. Keep warm.

5. Dust the gurnard in seasoned flour. Heat the olive oil in a large shallow pan and gently fry the fish skin-side down until golden brown. Turn the fish over, season with the remaining lemon juice and switch the heat off: the residual heat in the pan will finish cooking the fish.

6. To serve, heat a knob of butter in a separate frying pan and wilt the rainbow chard, courgette flowers and fennel flowers. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Divide the chard mixture among four bowls, picking out the fennel flowers to use as a garnish. Arrange the chowder vegetables around the greens and sit the fried fish (cut in half, if liked) on top. Pour the rest of the chowder over, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fennel flowers. Serve at once.

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