Friday, June 5, 2015

Chowderland by Brooke Dojny


Chowderland: 
Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides & Salads to Match
by Brooke Dojny
Storey Publishing, 2015
144 pages
source: from publisher via Netgalley

CHOWDER (noun)  :  a soup or stew of seafood (as clams or fish) usually made with milk or tomatoes, salt pork, onions, and other vegetables (as potatoes); also :  a soup resembling chowder <corn chowder> 
That's the definition of chowder according to  Merriam-Webster, but to me it means much more. Chowder conjures up images of the New England coastline. It makes me think of weather-beaten waterside restaurants serving up comfort-in-a-bowl on outdoor decks, oversized oyster crackers, and family vacations in Maine. I love Maine.

3 reasons I requested Chowderland:
  • The cover. It makes me want to pull up a spoon.
  • I only have one good seafood soup recipe in my repertoire.
  • My FIL orders New England Clam Chowder every time we go out to dinner. Every time.
3 things I loved about the cookbook:

  • Gorgeous photography
  • Visually appealing graphics
  • Informative ingredient discussion - which variety of potato, whether to use salt pork or bacon...


3 things about the Boston-Style Creamy Clam Chowder I made:

  • It takes some effort. I mean, no throwing ingredients into a crockpot and having soup appear six hours later.
  • It tasted even better the second day.
  • Heavy cream and bacon grease are scary, but that's probably why it tasted so good.

3 reasons I recommend Chowderland

  • Clear, concise instructions
  • Non-seafood chowders, accompaniments, and dessert recipes are also included
  • All the chowders!

3 more recipes I want to try (make that 4):

  • Lobster and Sweet Corn Chowder
  • Mussel Chowder with light curry and colorful vegetables
  • Penobscot Bay Scallop Stew
  • The Real Deal Lobster Bisque




The recipe:

4 ounces salt pork or bacon, cut into 1/2 inch dice or ground in the food processor, (about 1 cup)
6 tablespoons melted butter, more if needed
1 large onion, chopped
1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups bottled clam juice
2 cups water, plus more if needed
1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
2 teaspoons dried thyme or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf, broken in half
3 cups chopped hard-shell clams with their liquor
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook the salt pork with the butter in a large heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat until crisp and the fat is rendered, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the cooked bits with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and reserve. If you don't have 8 tablespoons of fat in the pot, make up the difference with additional butter.

2. Add the onion and celery and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the clam juice and water and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking until smooth.

3. Add the potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf, and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the potatoes are tender, about15 minutes. Add the clams and cream, cook for 5 minutes, and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the chowder sit at cool room temperature for at least an hour or, better yet, refrigerate for up to 2 days.

4. Reheat over low heat, adding more broth, cream, or water if the chowder is too thick. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and pass the reserved pork bits (reheated in the microwave) for sprinkling on the chowder if desired.

Bottom line: If you love chowder, this cookbook belongs in your collection!


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36 comments:

  1. I do love a good chowder. I always make the New England clam chowder from the Rochester, NY Junior League cookbook. I might like to try to make others, but I'm a bit intimidated by shellfish. At least clams come pre-shelled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patience_Crabstick - Is it Applehood and Motherpie? I love that cookbook and have had it on my shelf since the 1980s, but never tried the clam chowder. You must have an upstate NY connection :)

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  2. My husband loves chowder. When we lived in Oregon, that was one of his favorite things to order. Lots of fish up there. Texas is not much of a chowder place and I'm not a huge soup lover. However, your recipe sounds lovely. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay - The is definitely a soup-lovers book... can see why there wouldn't be much chowder in Texas ;-)

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  3. Yum - I love chowders. And, I think I've seen this book on another weekend cooking post. But, that lobster and sweet corn version sounds amazing!

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    Replies
    1. Sarah - I can't wait to try the lobster and sweet corn chowder... and the Real Deal Lobster Bisque!

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  4. We don't eat much chowder but do love soups. This sounds like a great cookbook!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy - We both love soups, and now I foresee more chowders coming out of my kitchen!

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  5. We don't eat much seafood and through some cruel joke I became allergic to shellfish in my mid-20s so I don't think this book is for me. However, it looks fantastic and I know several people who would love it. Adding it to my Gift list for Christmas time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine - Oh no, sorry about the shellfish allergy... that is a cruel development :-(

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  6. We eat soups & stews year round in spite being in hot old Florida! The scallop stew has my attention but your descriptions of many of the chowders had my mouth watering!

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    Replies
    1. Tina - I have just started to eat scallops again, after getting sick on them 20+ years ago. They are one of my husbands favorite foods, so I'll make the stew for him and try just a little for myself.

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  7. We are huge soup fans, and rarely does a week go by without soup for dinner. We don't eat much chowder (heavy cream, bacon), but it sure is good!!!

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    Replies
    1. Beth F - I hear you... that heavy cream and bacon was a rare treat for us!

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  8. We need more seafood recipes in our repertoire, too! This looks yummy!

    Joy's Book Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joy - The only seafood soup I make regularly is a crab bisque that my cousin found taped to the inside of a cupboard in a Virginia Beach rental cottage. It's nice to have a few more options!

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  9. This is making me hungry:)

    Both my wife and I cook a lot. I have tried my hand at chowders with mixed results. This I could really use this book :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brian - I love to cook, too! In the fall and winter I usually make soup once or twice a week for lunches... a combination of throw-it-all-in the-crockpot recipes and those involving a little more effort. The other recipes in this book may have to wait until fall.

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  10. I love chowders and I love Maine! Will have to look for this cookbook!

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    Replies
    1. Jama - This could be the perfect cookbook for you! :)

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  11. It sounds awesome! I love chowders but have only made a corn one. I'll have to look out for this one.

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    Replies
    1. Oldivaireads - There is a recipe for corn chowder in the book I want to try, too... both with and without lobster.

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  12. I love the title of this. It made me stop as soon as I saw it. Plus I love soups so think will be one I'll be looking out for - even if I don't think I'll be making any soups before the autumn.

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    Replies
    1. Emma - I think it's supposed to warm back up next week, so my soup-making may be on hold for the next couple of months, too.

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  13. I loved your description of Maine: of weather-beaten waterside restaurants serving up comfort-in-a-bowl on outdoor decks, oversized oyster crackers" and want to go one day. And have some chowder. My husband dislikes shellfish but he could have something else.

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    Replies
    1. Claudia - There is nothing like Maine in the summer... I just love it. And am sure your husband could find something else to eat ;-)

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  14. I've never made a chowder. Someday soon! Cheers from Carole's chatter

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    Replies
    1. Carole - When you're ready to give it a try, this book is the definitive source!

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  15. Oh, that cover is scrumptious looking. I'm pinning this recipe, it looks great. (Plus, it's got bacon.)

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    Replies
    1. Diane - Yes, bacon is ALWAYS a plus ;-)

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  16. Oh my how I enjoy chowder and an entire book devoted to chowder-amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Esme - I know! There are tons of soup cookbooks, but chowder is even more specialized.

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  17. I. Want. This. Cookbook! I really do.

    ReplyDelete

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