With its all-American ingredients, this New England-style chowder is a comfort-food classic. The soup needs only bread, or traditional oyster crackers, as an accompaniment.
1/4 pound sliced bacon
1 tablespoon butter
2 onions, chopped
2 cups water
1 cup bottled clam juice
3/4 pound boiling potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 rib celery, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups fresh (cut from about 3 ears) or frozen corn kernels
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 pounds cod fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 . In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and crumble when cooled.
2 . Add the butter and onions to the pot. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
3 . Add the water, clam juice, potatoes, celery, red-pepper flakes, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
4 . Return the bacon to the pot. Add the corn, milk, and cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cod and pepper. Bring back to a simmer and cook until just done, about 3 minutes longer.
Fish alternatives use a relatively firm, mild fish that won't disintegrate in the soup, such as pollack, orange roughy, or ocean perch.
A rich Chardonnay from California will pair nicely with the creaminess of the chowder. Try to find one that hasn't been aged in oak.