SeaBear Smokehouse Compliment - These mixes have my vote...

Review by S. on 2011-01-20
TROY, MICHIGAN -- My Sis and BIL are well aware of my culinary abilities. :) As part of my Christmas 2010 gift, they sent me a ”Chowder & Bisque Try Me Sampler” from SeaBear Smokehouse, based in Anacortes WA. The package consisted of:

1.Smoked Salmon Chowder
2.Alehouse Clam Chowder
3.Dungeness Crab Bisque
4.Alaskan Halibut Chowder

The mixes are in pouches and, until opened, require no refrigeration. I would compare the consistency to that of very thick paste. Instructions call for combining with milk, ½ and ½, whipping cream, or a combination of two, equal to 1-1/2 or 2 cups, depending on the mix chosen.

My first try was the Smoked Salmon Chowder. Never having had salmon chowder previously, I didn’t know what to expect.

The result was absolutely delicious! Not only was it thick and hearty, the vegetables and pieces of salmon were very discernable. A scant cup, along with three bread sticks, was lunch. For dinner later, I added a salad and was quite satiated.

When trying the crab bisque, although very tasty, I was disappointed that I found no crab chunks. But then, the name says it all. I’ve never had a bisque containing pieces of anything!

I have only the Alaskan Halibut Chowder left which I’ll probably prepare tomorrow. They can be done either stove-top or in the nuker (which next to my coffee maker is the most used appliance in my house).

Since the mixes can be purchased individually, I know I’ll be placing my own order in the future.

I chuckled at a comment shown on each pouch: Low-fat milk may be substituted. They’ve got to be kidding! I’ll use the ½ and ½, along with the whipping cream—and call Roto-Rooter at a later date.

Although other products are available, SeaBear specializes in salmon and salmon products. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give these mixes a 12.
Comments:22 Replies - Latest reply on 2011-01-21
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-20:
Sounds good! I definitely would not use low fat milk with those mixes. Cream and half and half, all the way baby.
Posted by MRM on 2011-01-20:
Ponie, long time, no see!
Posted by S. on 2011-01-20:
MRM, thankfully business has picked up for me so I have to stop 'running the streets' on the Internet--except for looking for more work. I had been intending to put up this review for a couple of weeks now and finally found time to compose it late last night.
Posted by momsey on 2011-01-20:
Mmmmmm...they sound awesome, I may have to check them out.
Posted by BEJ on 2011-01-20:
I have tried some of those mixes and they are indeed very good.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-20:
"I’ll use the ½ and ½, along with the whipping cream—and call Roto-Rooter at a later date." - LMAO!!

I love SeaBear, too. Ponie, check out their website too, and if you sign up for email notices, they will also send out coupons for things like free shipping, discounts etc once in a while. I've ordered a few times when I didn't feel like driving to Anacortes, never had a problem.
Posted by S. on 2011-01-20:
Some day when I feel flush with $$, I just may order one of their lucious-looking pieces of salmon for a small dinner party. I *do* cook once in a while. :)
Posted by S. on 2011-01-20:
j/c, I did go to their website but I didn't sign up for email notices. Maybe I'll order from them sooner if I get something about free shipping. Gads! I'm so frugal (read: cheap) and absolutely hate to pay those outrageous shipping charges. I see a lot of places also add handling or order processing, in addition. Thanks for the tip.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-20:
These sound yummy. Too bad I'm dieting so I can be ready for summer
Posted by S. on 2011-01-20:
awwwww--littleshorty! I'll bet you look great as you are. And just a little sinful indulgence isn't too bad. Hmmmm--wonder why my waist band is getting a little snug? :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-20:
Well, a treat here and there won't hurt.
Posted by S. on 2011-01-20:
Right on! Exactly what I say when I peer into my small glass of Absolut and OJ.
Posted by Nohandle on 2011-01-20:
Nice review Ponie. I'd never heard of this company and might very well give them a try. On an unrelated note, go ahead and purchase a quart of half and half instead of a smaller container. There's little difference in the price. What you don't use in Ponie's recommendation don't let it go to waste. Half and half makes the best scalloped potatoes you've ever had. Just use it instead of whole/regular milk.
Posted by Pepper on 2011-01-20:
sounds interesting. how was the salt content?
Posted by V on 2011-01-20:
Great review, Ponie ^_^ These sound totally yummy!
Posted by S. on 2011-01-20:
Nohandle, you're so right about the use of 1/2 & 1/2 instead of milk in many instances. I had an aunt who made the best home made vanilla pudding on earth. Wasn't until years later she admitted to us that it was instant Jello pudding made with 1/2 & 1/2, with a couple added drops of vanilla! She had us all buffaloed!

PepperElf, I don't know how to answer you about the salt content. I know that with one of them (don't remember which) I added just a bit of salt after the first taste. But that's just me--I like my food more seasoned than, say, someone who may be suffering from high BP. You can see I really pay attention to eating what's supposedly 'good' for me. Some of my family/friends can't understand how I carry my weight pretty well for the amount/kind of stuff I pack into me.

Mrs.V, try 'em--you'll like 'em. :)
Posted by Starlord on 2011-01-20:
Ponie, good to see you again. You said you only had the halibut chowder left, but how was the clam chowder? We have Skipper's here in Washington, with one in Olympia and one in Chehalis that we have seen. We prefer the one in Chehalis, but Skipper's has the best clam chowder, and they sell cans of it, and jars of their own tarter sauce and cocktail sauce. They have an all you can eat special on clam chowder, and I keep threatening to go in some night and break them financially, ROFL. I voted your review helpful. Is the website SeaBear.com?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-20:
Ponie, these sound good. Next time I'm home and up in Seattle, I think we'll take a drive to Anacortes. I will try the low-fat idea. Sometimes if the flavor is there, having a little less fat in the mix doesn't matter. I notice they don't use preservatives or any other chemicals, so I'm a happy camper.

I also note that they sell some of their products in stores. You have to call their customer service people and ask where--which I may do when I get home. Since I'm in WA, they just may have them somewhere near.

Starlord, yes, that is the website.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-20:
Anacortes is beautiful.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-20:
Good to know, ript. I've probably driven past on my way to BC, but have never been there.
Posted by Venice09 on 2011-01-21:
I'd scrap the low fat milk, too. Sometimes you just have to go with the real thing.. even if that means calling Roto-Rooter!

Great review. These mixes sound wonderful, handy and easy to use.
Posted by S. on 2011-01-21:
(Started posting and--poof! Everything disappeared!)

Starlord, the clam chowder was fantastic. Very definite small chunks of clams, potatoes, onions, etc. I can never keep straight which clam chowder is which. I just refer to them as 'red' or 'white.' This was the white but there was an odd notation at the end of the instructions. Something like: If desired, you may add a 6 oz. can of tomato paste. Seems to me that would be quite a bit of tomato paste to add to an aleady thick, creamy chowder. But I suppose some may like it.

I still haven't signed up for their emails but when doing so, I might be able to find out if these mixes are available locally.

If any of you are interested, Nohandle IM'd a great clam chowder recipe to me. Maybe you can convince her to send it to you, too.

Years ago before the midtown area of Detroit was wiped out by the criss-crossing of interstate highways and X-ways, there was a restaurant/bar named the 'Clam Shop.' This place had a fabulous clam chowder (white) which you couldn't find in any other restaurant. Just prior to the dispersement of personnel from our company to other states, one of the owners finally told some of us who were leaving the 'secret.' They used condensed milk in it. Not just any condensed milk, it had to be Pet Milk. On several occasions when I felt like bringing back pleasant memories, I made some. The owner was right. Using Pet Milk made all the difference.

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