Hey, good people. Happy Sunday.
I had a super sexy food fantasy mapped out for today, but like most fantasies, it didn’t quite play out the way it unfolded in the mind’s eye.
It started when I sat down at the bar after my shift on Friday night and enjoyed the company of good friends along with a bowl of the New England clam chowder we serve every weekend. It’s fantastic and it left me wanting more.
Soon I was visualizing a “tour of the East coast” type meal for today. I wanted a lobster roll, clam chowder and I had dreamt up a zany version of Boston cream pie to boot. A pie-fait, if you will.
I planned to get some tails and claws for the roll, we had almost everything for the chowder, and I would acquire allllll the goods for smooth, silky custard and ganache recipes. I was about to slay this Sunday.
Buuuuut, that’s not exactly what happened, and I knew when I dragged my exhausted ass in the door of our cozy crib last night that it was probably not going to go down.
Work is wild right now. The holiday season is kicking our butts. By Sunday, I am dead. It’s all I can do to get a meal made, some kind of exercise in, the house cleaned and some QT with the three boys I love.
I went ahead and decided that even if I did a “tour”, the only thing I was making from scratch would be the chowder, so that’s what I focused on today.
This chowder is rich and super hearty. It’s a great meal all by itself, or a fabulous accompaniment for a sandwich or a plate of seafood. We bounced around a bunch of ideas. Seafood salad melt, lobster rolls, sheet pan shrimp, a small boil??
Here’s what we ended up with, because my Honey knew I wanted this and helped to make it happen. He did the shopping, while I did yoga, laundry and showered.
By the time he got home with clams and various other items for our dinner, I was good to go in the kitchen. Teamwork. It’s what’s up.
The Connecticut style lobster rolls were a perfect pairing, and I made a Boston Cream Pie (for real, it’s pie, not cake) to wind up our little culinary tour.
I have recipes for these, too, but I’ll trickle them out through the week. The chowder recipe was the main event tonight.
I’m going to go ahead and get that laid down because it’s a little long-winded. Would you expect any less??
This recipe makes a good sized batch, so be prepared to share or enjoy it for a few meals. Enjoy!!
What You Need:
6 bacon strips
2 Tbsp butter
1 sweet onion finely diced
3 celery ribs, finely diced
1/2 shallot finely diced
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp Old Bay
6 c seafood or vegetable stock
8 redskin potatoes, cleaned and cubed
1 c clam juice
2 c half and half
1/2 c corn starch
2 c milk
4 6.5 oz cans of chopped clams, drained
Additional milk or half and half, if desired
What You Do:
Dice all of your veggies and cube potatoes. Have ingredients measured out and ready to roll, and just go through the recipe and be sure you’re prepped.
In a 7-10 quart Dutch oven or stock pot, cook bacon on medium heat until crisp, and remove to drain on paper towels.
Add 2 Tbsp butter to the pot, melt and add onions, celery and shallots.
Cook until the veggies are soft.
Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
Add Old Bay, potatoes, clam juice, stock.
Bring to a boil.
Boil 2 minutes, then lower to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Crumble the bacon you set aside earlier.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the half and half with the corn starch to make a slurry. This will take the stuff in your pot from soup to chowdah.
Add this in small amounts until soup thickens. It will thicken quickly, so have the 2 cups of milk nearby, and keep stirring. It can get a bit strategic here.
Now heat this back to a good simmer, stirring constantly, but don’t boil.
Add the clams and heat it all through.
It should be on point.
Garnish with the crumbled bacon. Serve with oyster crackers.
The first bite was heavenly.
I’m done here. Dessert is calling.
I hope all of you Cookers have an awesome week. I’ll be dipping in to share tea and 2 more recipes.
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