You get what you get and then you make chowder. Our NH CSF has had its ups and downs. Instead of planning what to do with the fish ahead of time, we have found it smarter to see what shape the fish is in. Today our share was hake. It was fresh, and roughly handled. It needed more than its fair share of trimming. Instead of being frustrated, my usual approach to most things, I opted to look at what remained and figure out a delicious way to enjoy it.
We started with some linguisa that we sauteed in olive oil. Then we added onions and salt, and hard sweated them down. When the onions were soft we added half and half. Then we added Yukon Gold potatoes and shaved Tuscan kale. (It's not a contemporary approach without kale.) When the potatoes were tender we added the hake pieces we had brined in a 5% salt solution for 30 minutes. This was a longer brine than usual. We did this to rinse off surface proteins and to season the fish. We cooked the fish for 5 minutes, then turned off the heat and let the chowder rest.
The fish gently flaked into the chowder, flavoring and finishing it. Chowder, like soups and even many pasta sauces, is a functional medium to utilize odds and ends to create something seriously delicious.