A fine kettle of Wisconsin fish chowder

New England is famous for fish chowders, wonderful seafood stews come from the Florida keys kitchens, and California is known for its cioppino. But this fish chowder comes from Wisconsin, and it's a good recipe for any part of the country. It's also a special, one since it makes 3 gallons of chowder, so you can freeze some for later use.

Although almost any kind of fish will taste good in this recipe, rough fish such as freshwater drum and burbot are suggested fish.

The recipe is from a small book of recipes called ''A Fine Kettle of Fish.''

The cookbook is available by sending $6.97 to Wisconsin Natural Resources, PO Box 7191, Madison, Wis. 53707-7185. Wisconsin Fish Chowder 1/4 pound soda crackers 5 pounds white potato 1 onion, about 3 inches in diameter 1 3/4 tablespoons salt 4 pounds boned fish 28-ounce can whole tomatoes 51-ounce can tomato soup 3/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 pound butter 1 pint half-and-half cream

Reduce crackers to meal in a blender and add enough hot water to moisten and make a slurry.

Peel potatoes and slice thin. Rinse in cold water to remove all starch possible. Mix onion with a little water in blender, and reduce to liquid. Then add onion and salt to potatoes in a 12-quart kettle. Cover potatoes with water then add 2 more quarts water. Boil until potatoes are soft. Do not pour off liquid.

With potato masher, reduce about 3/4 of potatoes to a puree.

Cut fish in chunks if using raw fish and add to potato. Break up whole tomatoes and add with tomato soup to potato. Cook until fish flakes.

Reduce heat and add pepper, butter, cream, and soda crackers. Add hot water for consistency of a medium-thick soup. Simmer 1/2 hour. Freezes well. Makes 3 gallons.

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