Eat & Watch/ Film/ Food/ Meals/ Recipes

Eat & Watch: Smoked Salmon Chowder & Trading Places

Chowder B

Culinary Details:
Trading Places DVDLe Creuset Dutch Oven

The holidays are almost over, but there’s still time left to bundle up and watch a few more seasonal movies. A great movie to watch in spirit of the new year is the 1983 comedy Trading Placesstarring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy.

In this movie, two successful businessmen – the Duke brothers – make a bet about whether nature or nurture plays a role in determining someone’s life. They give beggar Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) a job at their Philadelphia commodities-trading firm, and take away all that wealthy Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) has. They predict that Valentine will start acting like a successful, wealthy businessman, and that Winthorpe will become homeless, jobless, and desperate.

As predicted by the Duke brothers, Winthorpe falls to new lows in his new life of poverty. At the company holiday party, he is seen stuffing meat and salmon into his filthy and grungy Santa costume.

Trading Places B

Trading Places C

Later, when Winthorpe is on the bus, he pulls out the salmon fillet from his grey Santa beard and proceeds to eat it. Winthorpe is clearly feeling defeated and has hit rock bottom. I won’t spoil what happens in the movie, but it’s definitely worth watching. It’s humorous while also having serious undertones of economic inequality and racial and cultural stereotypes.

Inspired by Santa Winthorpe and his hearty piece of salmon, Smoked Salmon Chowder felt like a delicious meal to watch with this movie. Chowder is warm – perfect for these cold winter months – and the smoked salmon gives the chowder a blast of flavor.


Double photo

Chowder G

In addition to the smoked salmon, the other ingredients also play a starring role in this chowder. I chose purple potatoes to give the soup some much needed color (otherwise it would have a mostly beige and yellow tone). Fresh corn on the cob gives the chowder a nice crunch, and the dill garnish gives it a clean herb taste without being overbearing.

Topped with oyster crackers or warm crusty bread, this Smoked Salmon Chowder may become a regular on the meal circuit. This recipe involves smoky bacon, fresh carrots and celery, and heavy cream – lots of goodies in every bite!

Chowder D

Chowder H

Chowder C

Smoked Salmon Chowder

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print


1 pound smoked salmon
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 onion, chopped
5 stalks of celery, cut into small slices
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
8 small purple potatoes, diced
½ cup white wine
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, cut fine
2 bay leaves
3 cups of chicken broth
3 strips of smoked bacon, cut into strips
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 ears of corn, boiled

Optional: salt and pepper to taste, oyster crackers, parsley and dill for garnish


1. In large pot over medium high heat, add butter and let melt. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook until soft. Add white wine and stir well.

2. Add potatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and 2 cups of chicken broth. Once boiling, bring heat down to let mixture simmer until the potatoes are soft. Add bacon slices in and bring back to boil.

3. Bring chowder to low heat. Whisk flour and 2 cups of milk together and add to pot. Add last cup of broth. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. This will create a thicker textured chowder. If you prefer a more liquidy base, only simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add the cup of cream and a good amount of the smoked salmon (add this last so the salmon doesn’t get mushy, and leave some for garnish on top). Cut off all the corn from the ears. Mix in half the corn and leave the rest for garnish.

5. Serve hot with salmon, corn, and dill as garnish. Enjoy with oyster crackers or warm crusty bread.


*Because the butter was salted and you’ll get a good saltiness flavor from the smoked salmon, taste chowder before adding any/more salt.

© A Dash of Cinema

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Food Images by Lauren Jessen // Trading Places stills from Paramount Pictures


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