Culinary SOS: Chowder and biscuits from Nova Scotia

Durty Nelly’s seafood chowder
Durty Nelly’s in Halifax, Nova Scotia, serves its seafood chowder with cheddar and green onion biscuits. We’ve adapted recipes for both. Read the recipe »
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: I recently returned from a cruise to northeastern Canada and the U.S. While visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia, our tour took us to a charming Irish pub called Durty Nelly’s for lunch. Several in our group ordered the seafood chowder. It was a delicious, creamy, flavorful and hearty bowl of chowder, but not fishy tasting. Can you please try to get the recipe?

Cheryl Creek

Anaheim Hills

Dear Cheryl: Durty Nelly’s was happy to share its recipe for this chowder, which is rich, creamy and satisfying. The restaurant also included its cheddar and green onion biscuits recipe, which it recommends serving alongside a bowl of the chowder.



45 minutes. Makes 10½ cups

2 large boiling potatoes, diced

1 1/2 cups diced onion


1 1/2 cups diced carrot

1 1/2 cups diced celery

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 quart water

1 1/2 tablespoons fish base, preferably Minor’s

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


1/4 cup flour

8 ounces boneless firm white fish fillet, such as haddock or cod, cut into bite-sized pieces

6 ounces shrimp

6 ounces scallops

Salt and pepper

1. In a large pot of simmering water, boil the potatoes just until tender. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepot, sauté the diced onion, carrot and celery in 2 tablespoons butter until the vegetables are softened, stirring constantly to avoid coloring. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and whisk in the fish base. Add the potatoes, cream, dill, thyme and pepper.

3. In a separate pan, melt the remaining one-fourth cup butter over medium heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes to make a roux. Whisk the roux into the chowder and continue to cook until thickened over medium high heat, approximately 2 to 4 minutes after the mixture has reached a boil.


4. Add the haddock, shrimp and scallops to the chowder just before serving, and simmer until the seafood is fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Each of 8 servings

Calories 341

Protein 14 grams

Carbohydrates 26 grams

Fiber 3 grams

Fat 20 grams

Saturated fat 13 grams

Cholesterol 111 mg

Sugar 4 grams

Sodium 518 mg

Durty Nelly’s cheddar green onion biscuits

45 minutes. Makes 12 biscuits

3 1/2 cups (15 ounces) flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda


1 cup softened margarine

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup chopped green onion, green parts only

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt together. Add the margarine and mix together by hand until mixture is slightly dry and crumbly, and the margarine is reduced to pea-sized crumbs. Mix in the cheddar cheese and green onions. Add the buttermilk and knead. Turn the mixture out onto a floured cutting board or work surface and knead a few more times. Roll the dough to about an inch thick and form into a rectangle. Cut into 12 equal squares. Place on lined baking sheet, slightly spaced apart.

3. Bake until the top appears golden brown, cracked and firm, 10 to 12 minutes.


Calories 306

Protein 6 grams

Carbohydrates 32 grams

Fiber 1 gram

Fat 17 grams

Saturated fat 4 grams

Cholesterol 6 mg

Sugar 5 grams

Sodium 384 mg

NOTE: Adapted from Durty Nelly’s. Fish base can be found at seafood markets and many well-stocked grocery stores.

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