Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides & Salads to Match
by Brooke Dojny
Storey Publishing, 2015
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.
- 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
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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