Monday 20 July 2015

Kitchen Adventures: Clam Chowder

What do you do on a Sunday night when you really want some clam chowder? Be happy that Sobeys is now open 24/7 and that you have a good stash of cookbooks to search for the perfect quick recipe!

I love Chef Michael Smith's cookbooks! The recipes are fantastic, and always teach me a little something about food, flavours and freestyle cooking. He always gives suggestions for altering recipes and ways to change it up the next time you try it. I always love making changes to recipes, and a little guidance is always welcome. 

Yesterday was a rainy, miserable day, so a little bowl of maritime comfort was just what we needed. I have my own recipe for seafood chowder, but it takes too much time and money, so I thought clam chowder would be yummy. Chowder isn't as difficult as it seems - a good balance of veggies (potatoes, carrots, celery, onion), seafood, cream, and spices (thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne, dill are my favourites.) 

I found the perfect quick recipe, "Maritime Clam Chowder," in Chef Smith's "The Best of Chef at Home." I'm not going to share the recipe (I'm not into stealing other people's work), but I promise to share my recipe next week.  The problem is that I've never really written it down. I'm making my chowder this weekend for a birthday, so I'll make sure I actually write down what I do.

Here are the two new things I learned from making this recipe:

Grated Potato:  This recipe includes grated potato. It's brilliant! You grate the potato and simmer it with the cream and milk, until it breaks down. It helps to thicken the broth without having to add a thickener, like flour, which I don't like.

Bacon: Everything is better with bacon, right? Apparently it's true! I had tried adding bacon before, but didn't crisp it up enough. It ended up just being a bunch of chewy bacon in my chowder. Gross. Chef Smith gives the tip of adding a splash of water when cooking the bacon, so it browns (and crisps) evenly.

In the end, it was a yummy Sunday treat! (With leftovers for Monday.) 

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