HOW ABOUT A BOWL OF TOG CHOWDER?
For saltwater anglers, mid-November is the tail end of the striper migration. The numbers caught start to dwindle but there is still a chance for that personal best. The days are shorter, and frosty mornings and colder evenings become the norm. The saltiest among us know there is another season just getting underway- the Tautog or Blackfish season. Between now and the end of the year is the best time to get on a trophy tog. Tog is an under-appreciated fish, especially in the culinary world. After a bone chilling day on the water, nothing goes down better than a hardy chowder. But I am not talking about clam chowder. The rich flavor of Tog makes a delicious chowder that rivals New England and Manhattan’s best. Here are the ingredients you need:
1. ¼ lb thick cut smoked bacon
2. 1 large onion
3. 4 stalks of celery
4. 5 large carrots
5. 3 tbsp. flour
6. 6-8 russet potatoes
7. 2 lbs. tog fillets rinsed, patted dry, and cut into uniform “bite sized” pieces.
8. 1 Pint size heavy cream
9. ½ gallon 2% milk
1. Saute bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, blot excess fat with paper towels.
Crumble bacon and set aside.
2. Chop the carrots, celery, and onion; toss it all in large pot with 2 tbsp of the bacon
fat. Simmer until onions are caramelized brown but not burned (about 20 mins).
3. Stir in flour. Immediately add 2 cups of 2% milk and continue stirring until smooth.
4. Simmer on low while chopping potatoes also into bite sized pieces.
5. Add potatoes to the pot and cook until almost tender.
6. Stir in heavy cream. Depending on consistency, add milk if needed.
7. Simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Add tog. Simmer for about 10 more minutes or until fish and potatoes are done
9. Continue heating over medium heat until chowder thickens.
10. Garnish with crumbled bacon before serving- season with salt & pepper to taste.