Friday, April 5, 2013
Clam Chowder (New England)
Today I needed a pick-me up after Gov. Malloy Signed in some of the worst ,Freedom attacking, legislation ever. I feel, as a sportsman, let down and unrepresented. I am from Stamford and knew the Governor was going to sign the bill into law regardless of the letter i sent and phone calls i made. I personally see a lot of fees for new licences and not much to curb violence. To be honest I don't see how a bunch of rich white guys in Hartford passing laws is going to help the Poor minorities in dumps like Bridgport. The only recourse i see is to vote! Remember these are the same lawmakers that will approve a budget to close a trout hatchery.
On to the New England Clam Chowder! New England chowder is enriched with cream and really sticks to your ribs while at the same time giving you a warm happy feeling. So, how do I make it? Well first let me say chowder is a type of stew. Traditionally it was the stuff not sold at market and the fisherman would let it boil for long periods of time. With the tradition of chowder in mind I personally leave my chowders a little course. I don't chop up my ingredients into fine little morsels. I can't imagine an old fisherman wearing a wool sweater drinking whiskey and cough syrup taking all the time to chop everything up. I also make chowder with on had ingredients. This time for instance i had half of a red pepper in the fridge, so in it went.
1. Cooking the Clams and Making the Stock.
I start chowder off by cooking my clams. My clam steaming process is the same for all my dishes and it works. I scrub the heck out of my clams with a small brush like the ones used to scrub fruit. By doing the brushing with cold water you remove the mud and sand the is trapped on the shell. In the pot i am going to use for steaming I add just enough water to cover the bottom. Then i add some parsley and a bay leaf. In go the clams. I also like to drizzle a little olive oil on the clam shells as the oil will mix with the stock later. Finally I turn on the stove.
The clams should cook in 10 minutes. You will know they are done when they open. If a clam does not open throw it away. Save the liquid in the bottom of the pot, because that is your stock. Remove the meat from the shells and set a side.
2. The Chowder.
Of course you start off by cooking a slice of bacon in the pot, don't be foolish. In the bacon grease I cook a small onion, and some garlic. When these get soft i add the potato chunks, and celery. Then the red pepper i had and some canned corn. You can add or subtract any item just put the ones requiring more time to cook in first. Once they cook a little i add the clam stock. I let it come to a boil. I like to turn the heat down and let it simmer for a half hour.
3. Finishing it Off.
I cut up the clams a little and add them at the end, because they are already cooked. After stirring your clams in I add the cream. If your clam chowder at this point is to watery you can stir in a little flower to thicken it up.