– Scottish Seafood Chowder –
Cullen Skink my way…….with Smoked Whiting
Fish on Friday
This is my second fishy post of the day, a Fish in Friday double bonus. And, this wonderful soup has just been devoured for lunch along with crusty baguette and butter. As part of the Fish Fanatics scheme, of which I am a member, we receive boxes of fish and seafood throughout the year to sample, cook with and to discuss, and my last box of fish was sent to me as usual via Fish is the Dish with some lovely Scottish fish from John at Delish Fish. In the box was something very new to me, some smoked whiting fillets; whiting is a member of the cod family and has a similar flavour but is more economical and sustainable to buy than cod, and as I discovered, the smoked version also makes a great alternative to smoked haddock. On looking at the smoked whiting fillets, they looked very similar to smoked haddock, and with that in mind, I thought that I would try them out in a Scottish classic, a Cullen Skink, but cooked my way!
The smoked whiting worked a treat in this recipe; it does has a tendency to break up if cooked too long, so keep an eagle eye on it when initially poaching it in the milk. The flesh is very white and quite sweet when unsmoked, but when smoked, I couldn’t tell the difference between it and smoked haddock, which is brilliant for the purse strings, as smoked whiting is cheaper per kilo. John’s fillets came ready to cook and filleted, in handy sealed packets – you can see how handy the packets are by clicking on the link here: Smoked Whiting. As I was making a classic recipe with a new kind of fish, I also decided to walk on the wild side and substitute the usual parsley with some fresh chopped chives, as well as adding in a little bit of smoked salmon at the end, which added a richer flavour. I would challenge even the most experienced of fish eaters to say that they could tell the difference between smoked haddock and whiting; the flake is slightly different, but that’s not that obvious when used in a soup, fish cakes or a pie.
This soup was wonderful…….thick and unctuous and the smoked flavours were subtle, and yet pronounced enough to make it special, as Cullen Skink is – it is probably my all time favourite soup, and is usually the first item I choose from the menu when I am at a good restaurant; the fact that it can made at home with a cheaper type of smoked fish is a real bonus, and it’s also very simple to make too. I hope you will try smoked whiting, and if you do, let me know what you think, as well as maybe having a go at making this soup, it would be a wonderful starter for a Good Friday supper or lunch.
That’s all for my double fishy posts for today, see you tomorrow with a Random Recipe and then on Sunday with more CAKE and flowers! Have a wonderful weekend, Karen.
Cullen Skink with Smoked Whiting
|Serves||4 to 6|
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||20 minutes|
|Total time||35 minutes|
|Meal type||Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Soup|
|Occasion||Casual Party, Formal Party|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 2 lbs (900g) smoked whiting fillets
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 pint (600ml) milk
- 1 lb (450g) potatoes, peeled and finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- chopped chives
- smoked salmon (about 50g, flaked into small pieces)
- salt and pepper, to season
Cullen is a small town in North east of Scotland and home of one of Scotland's most famous dishes, Cullen Skink. This creamy and hearty soup is traditionally made with Finnan haddock (smoked haddock), potatoes and onions. Cullen Skink is also known as Smoked Haddock Chowder in other parts of Britain. In my recipe, I have used smoked whiting, which is cheaper than smoked haddock, with wonderful results, and I also added some smoked salmon and some chopped chives for a different twist.
|Step 1||In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the smoked whiting, bay leaf and milk. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. When the fish is done, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Remove the bay leaf at this stage too. Add the diced potatoes and onion to the milk and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.|
|Step 2||Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender, in batches if needed, and blend until smooth and creamy, OR using a stick blender, blend the soup in the saucepan. Return the soup to the pan and flake the fish into the soup. Add the chopped chives.|
|Step 3||Heat through gently, do not boil. Just before serving, add the flaked smoked salmon and gently stir it into the soup. Serve immediately. Season with pepper and garnish with parsley or extra chopped chives to individual tastes.|
A Trifle Rushed says
And here I was ready to comment on your divine halibut and shrimp!
However, this is a fantastic extra treat. I do love a good chowder, and your recipe’s ingredients sound sooo tasty I’m book marking both for Brittany.
Have a great weekend, Happy St Patrick’s Day, Jude x
Aw thanks Jude! You have a GREAT St Patrick’s Day and may all your food be GREEN!
Cullen Skink! I’m homesick already. What a wonderful recipe Karen. I love the smokiness in the chowder.
Thanks so much Jacqueline! This is one of my all time favourite soups!
Looks delish. I LOVE chowders, and this sounds wonderful! Will be definitely trying.
Thanks Louisa, this was a decadent treat for us!
Working London mummy says
Loving your series of fish recipes. We love fish in our house and I will be coming back to your ideas. Had whiting for the first time yesterday at Jamie’s Italian, and liked it!
Javelin Warrior says
Karen, this soup looks incredible and sorry I haven’t said so sooner (I’m so behind in my blog reading after the weekend)… It’s so creamy and chunky and comforting – such a shame I don’t have a big steaming bowl in front of me right now 😉
I am WAY behind blog reading and comments too, and the Captcha and WP logging in problems have not helped either……glad that you like my soup now you are here though!
Sylvie (A Pot of Tea) says
I could eat this for breakfast right now!
Thanks Sylvie! 🙂
Hello, Karen! Lovely post! I smoked 1.36 kg of whiting overnight. About 12 hours. Can’t wait to make this. Looks delicious. I plan to make some fish dip also. Can’t wait! Thanks so much!