The next time you are filleting a fish, save the rib bones and the throats and freeze them until you have a couple of pounds for this great chowder recipe.
2 lbs. whole fish, scaled, cleaned, head removed or the scraps described above
2 bay leaves
2 large onions sliced
1 carrot sliced
2 stalks celery with leaves chopped
2 large potatoes diced
2 cans evaporated milk
1 tsp. peppercorns
4 dashes Tabasco
1/2 tsp. salt
1. Cover with water and bring ingredients to a boil. Simmer until meat falls from the bones.
2. Cool, then strain broth into a large pot.
3. Separate meat from bones, taking care to remove all the little bones.
4. Set fish aside.
5. Fry out 2 (2 inch cubes) of fatback (salt pork).
6. Use the grease from the fatback to lightly saut two onions chopped and two large stalks of celery finely chopped.
7. Add the broth.
8. Dice two large potatoes and add to the broth.
9. Place broth and vegetables on the stove and boil until the potatoes are done.
10. When potatoes are done, add the fish, two cans evaporated milk, and one can of water and simmer for 10 minutes.
11. Add the Tabasco, salt, black pepper and/or your favorite seasoning to your taste.
12. You may add your favorite vegetables such as whole kernel corn, tomatoes, etc. Improvise with your favorite seasonings to make this dish your own.
13. Serve in large bowls with a side salad and toasted garlic bread, its dinner.
Capt. Dick May is the owner of Easy Rider Charters in Bokeelia. He can be reached at 239-283-3247 or easyridercharters.com. "Capt. Dick's Seafood & Southern Country Cooking" (new cookbook) can be ordered for $14.95 plus $3 postage by calling the number above or by mailing a check (made out to Dick May) to 7989 Judge Bean Road, Bokeelia, FL 33922.