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Published: Sunday, 5/18/2014

Dinner Tonight: Fish Chowder

"A great recipe for a simple, light dinner," writes Angela Nilsen in Make It Lighter. "The real bonus here is that the creamy broth contains significantly less saturated fat than can be found in a classic equivalent using heavy cream. Adding the fresh thyme, crushed chiles, and prosciutto gives the dish an extra kick and reduces the need for too much salt."

Fish Chowder

Slightly adapted from Angela Nilsen's Make It Lighter: Healther Versions of Your Favorite Recipes, All the Taste - None of the Guilt, published by Hamlyn, a division of Octopus Publishing Group, Ltd.

1-1/2 tablespoons canola oil

3 slices prosciutto, cut into strips

3 leeks, trimmed, cleaned, and thinly sliced

2 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 springs of thyme, plus extra leaves to garnish

2 bay leaves

6 Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, sliced 1/4" thick

2-1/2 cups hot vegetable stock

good pinch of crushed dried chiles

9 ounces skinless salmon fillets

9 ounces skinless pollock or cod fillets

3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

salt and freshly ground black pepper

snipped chives, to garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, deep saute pan. Add the prosciutto and cook for 2 minutes, until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, letting any excess oil drain back into the pan. Set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and saute the leeks, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves for 2-3 minutes, until the leeks start to soften but still retain their vivid color.

Add the potatoes and saute for 2 minutes, turning occasionally. Pour in the stock plus an extra 1/2 cup boiling water, and gently press the potatoes down so that they are just covered. Bring to a boil. Boil vigorously, uncovered, over high heat for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are almost cooked. The liquid should have thickened slightly. Sprinkle in the crushed chiles, some black pepper, and a pinch of salt.

Lower the heat to medium and lay the fish fillets on top of the potatoes. Season the fish with black pepper and gently press down so that the fillets are only just submerged. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the fish is almost cooked. Remove from the heat and let sit for another 5-10 minutes. Remove the thyme and bay leaves. Still off the heat, spoon in the yogurt and gently swirl around until the broth looks creamy.

To serve, gently reheat. Divide the potatoes and fish in large pieces into shallow bowls. Spoon the broth around and sprinkle with chives, thyme leaves, and the prosciutto.

Serves 4.

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