Fish Chowder Pie With Biscuit Crust

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As this is an honest home cook’s blog, I wanted to share this with you, even though aesthetically, the final result proved that I need to use a smaller pot to bake it in. However, as comfort food goes, this is the bomb. I mean, winter comfort for me was always a takeout of clam chowder from The Seagrille in Nantucket, or stopping at The Even Keel for a chowder lunch while Christmas shopping on Main Street.

Well this pie creates that winter comfort  and is just perfect to come home to after a winter’s day walk. It can also be lightened up by using either fat free half and half or light evaporated milk, to give the creaminess without the fat and calories, but if this not your thing, then go ahead and use full fat milk or heavy cream /double cream. For non American readers, biscuits are flour based bread like, but denser type of roll, that if you haven’t had before is a game changer.

WINE NOTE: This is a creamy fish dish that does not want the sharpness of an acidic wine. A pino gris is my preferred pairing. Similar grape variety to pinot grigio which can produce a lifeless bland wine, pinot gris has more sophistication, producing an aromatic food friendly wine.  Off dry from Alsace, this wine has tropical fruit with a touch of spice and honey, giving a comforting aromatic hug with the pie, blending and  complimenting nicely with the creaminess.    

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 large white, onion chopped
  • 1 medium red potato, scrubbed and cubed
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup fish stock or clam juice
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1 tsp rosemary chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat free half and half or light evaporated milk
  •  2 tsps Dijon Mustard 
  • 1 Tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 pounds cod fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks- you could also use pollack
  • 1/4 cup chopped, seeded, red bell pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2/3 cup corn kernels, fresh or thawed
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

For the biscuit crust

  • 2 cups white all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 4 slice cooked turkey or regular bacon, crumbled or chopped

To make the filling, heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion, potato, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the clam juice/stock, water, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together the half-and-half, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and cornstarch. Stir the mixture into the saucepan, then add the cod, bell pepper, thyme, corn, salt, and ground pepper. Simmer, uncovered, until the fish is opaque, about 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pour the fish mixture into a round 2-quart baking dish and set dish on a baking sheet.

To make the crust, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into pieces, then cut into mixture with a fork or a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in the buttermilk and bacon. Gather the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough into a 10-inch circle, about 1/4 -inch thick. Fit the dough over the baking dish and crimp the excess around the rim to seal. Poke all over with the tines of a fork. Bake until the crust is puffed and browned and the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes.