At home here in North Dakota, our hunting seasons are winding down, there’s snow on the ground and fishable ice on most lakes. Heck, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t already daydreamed of my husband interrupting small talk around the spear hole with the words “northern” in his unmistakably serious tone. But when there are only about 120 days out of the year your bird dog can do what they love, it’s seemingly getting tougher to hang up the shotguns for the auger. But whether we like it or not, January 2nd is just around the corner and we’ll be forced to take to the ice, after all, the only way to combat bitterly cold winters on the prairie is to embrace them.
I often admit my preference to jigging for walleyes or perch or watching bobbers slip into the abyss but my husband’s addiction to the predatory tenacity of pike finds us splitting our time on the ice, half fishing, half darkhouse spearing. Whichever way you piece it, there will no doubt be a variety of freshwater fillets added to the freezer soon, a fortunate complement to the abundance of red meat in there currently.
While fried fish tacos frequent the menu in our household, I’m always looking for ways to prepare fish differently. This Instant Pot pike chowder has become a crowd favorite – okay, the crowd consisting of me and my husband. My favorite part? It calls for frozen fish fillets, meaning so long as I have (most of) the other ingredients I can make this recipe without having to plan ahead. For those without an instant pot, I have not tried to replicate in a standard Crock-Pot but I would imagine cooking on low ~4 hours would yield similar results.
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