- 1 medium onion (150g), chopped coarsely
- 2 trimmed celery stalks (200g), chopped coarsely
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 200 grams speck, rind removed, chopped coarsely
- 2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cups (750ml) hot milk
- 400 grams desiree potatoes, cut into 1cm pieces
- 2 cups (500ml) fish stock
- 500 grams pot-ready clams (see tip)
- 12 large uncooked king prawns (840g), peeled, deveined, with tails intact
- 400 grams skinless boneless swordfish, cut into 5cm pieces
- 2 whole medium calamari (500g), cleaned, scored, cut into 4cm pieces, tentacles reserved
- 8 scallops, without roe (200g)
- ⅓ cup (80ml) thickened (heavy) cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
- ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
- grilled sourdough bread, to serve
- 1Process onion, celery and garlic until chopped finely.
- 2Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or deep frying pan over medium heat. Add speck; cook for 5 minutes or until starting to crisp. Add onion mixture; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened but not coloured.
- 3Add flour; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add nutmeg and milk, stirring to combine well. Add potato and stock; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; cook for 5 minutes.
- 4Stir in clams; cook, covered, for 4 minutes or until opened. Add prawns, fish and scored calamari pieces; cook for 3 minutes. Add scallops; cook for a further 1 minute. Stir in cream until heated through.
- 5Heat remaining oil in a small heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Cook reserved calamari tentacles for 1 minute or until a little crisp.
- 6Divide chowder among bowls; top with calamari tentacles and scatter with fresh herbs. Serve with grilled bread.
Pot-ready clams have already had sand purged from them and require no preparation. To purge clams yourself, place them in salted water (allow 30g/1oz sea salt to 1 litre/4 cups cold water) for several hours, then remove from water carefully; do not drain in a colander as you may add the sand back to the clams. Instead of swordfish, use another firm oily fish, such as kingfish or marlin.
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