Chunky Snapper and Root Vegetable Chowder

Through his seafood-centric restaurant, The Ordinary, Mike Lata has access to the best fish in the South. For this dish, however, he uses whatever is fresh. “This dish is a great way to stretch one fish to feed your whole family,” he says. “Sometimes, I’ll even swap in leftover fish cheeks or collar from my fishmonger.” Slideshow:  More Grilled Seafood Recipes 

Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 5 cups fish stock, clam juice or chicken broth, warmed

  • 3 baking potatoes (1 3/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 turnips (10 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 parsnips (10 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 celery root (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless red snapper fillet, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Hot sauce

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • Chopped dill, for garnish


  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp. Add the onion and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the fish stock and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, turnips, parsnips, celery root and thyme and simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes.

  2. Add the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until the soup is thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the snapper, lemon juice, Worcestershire and a dash of hot sauce and cook until the fish is just white throughout, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chowder to bowls and garnish with dill. Serve, passing more hot sauce at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Vivid, full-bodied dry German Riesling.

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