Nothing beats fresh vegetables when it comes to good cooking. However, chopped, frozen veggies are sometimes practical, especially if you're pressed for time and you just can't be bothered preparing the ingredients--chopping, dicing, slicing, etc.--which is very time-consuming.
This smoked fish chowder was one of those recipes I saw on "Food in a Minute" (a one minute advertorial program to fill gaps between programming), which got me interested. However the recipe required for a packet of ready to cook frozen potatoes, capsicum and onions. Stingy me, would rather use fresh veggies (some of which may come from our garden), rather than buy the more convenient packets of frozen goodies. So I peeled, diced and sliced equal amounts of potatoes, capsicums and onions. Plus, I altered the quantity in the ingredients as the original recipe was meant for 4 - 6 people. I do not like using butter so much, so again, I used substitution--olive oil instead of butter. I'm sorry, I could not tell the difference in taste had I used butter, but there probably isn't much difference.
The picture may not have done justice to the taste of the dish because I took the photo in a rush before dinner, but David and I find it really nice. He asked me to do it again soon.
Hearty Smoked Fish Chowder
1 tsp olive oil
1 leek, trimmed, rinsed and cut into 1 cm slices
1-2 stalks celery cut into 1 cm slices
1 tbsp flour
1 cup vegetable stock or water
3-4 pieces medium size potatoes
1 piece onion
1/2 cubed red and green capsicum
1 cup frozen sweet corn
250 g smoked fish fillet, skinned and flaked
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped celery leaves
1 cup of milk
1 tsp (optional) grated lemon rind
Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the leek and celery until tender, but not brown. Stir in the flour and cook over a low heat for 1 minute or until frothy.
Gradually stir in the vegetable stock and milk, stirring continuously as the sauce thickens.
Add the cubed potatoes, green and red capsicum and onions. Add sweet corn. Simmer gently stirring regularly until the vegetables are hot and tender
Stir in smoked fish, herbs and lemon rind if using. Season as wished.
This can be divided into four servings for small appetites.