Sunday, October 25, 2015

Cod and Clam Chowder (makes about 3 quarts)

cod and clam chowder with toasted baguette slices
cod and clam chowder with oyster crackers
and a sprinkle of ground black pepper

The cool autumn days are good for some piping hot chowder especially in this part of New England! Some clam or seafood chowders can be quite thick and heavy. I prefer my mine with a lighter, thinner consistency so I use clam stock and half and half. I find this technique to be more flavorful and less rich to digest. I saved the clam juice or stock in the freezer to make this. My chowder is also not so salty. However, feel free to add more salt or fish sauce if interested. I use a cast iron pot to make this chowder since I find it more economical by using less heat. Once you add the half and half avoid letting the contents boil. Turn the heat to low and let it slightly simmer. I prefer to eat my chowder alone or with toasted baguette pieces. My husband on the other hand, enjoys his chowder with oyster crackers. Of course, these crackers are quite deceiving since there is not a speck of oysters in them...as my father-in-law found out when he first came to the United States! In New England many places will serve their chowder with a small bag of these crackers. 

A beautiful autumn day
near my home (New Hampshire, USA, 2015)
looking up from my own back yard
(New Hampshire, USA, 2015)

Cod and Clam Chowder (makes about 3 quarts)


Ingredients

2 Tbsp oil (may also use half oil and half butter)
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 celery sticks, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 sprigs fresh thyme, pull some of the leaves off from the stems
1 bunch scallion, green part only, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
2 Tbsp dried flat leaves parsley (see below)
5 cups clam stock (preferably home-made)
3 russet potatoes, peeled, cubed
12 oz cod fillet, cubed
About 1 lb steamer clams, cooked and meat removed (about 1/2 cup, may cut each in half)
About 1 lb littlenecks, cooked and meat removed (about 1/2 cup, may cut each into 2-3 pieces)
2 cups half and half
1 Tbsp fish sauce (or more according to your taste)
Ground black pepper, garnish (optional)

 Method

1) Heat a pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add onion and celery. Saute about 2 minutes until the onion is soft.
2) Add thyme stems and leaves, scallions and crumble in the dried parsley. Saute about a minute.
3) Add the clam stock. Once the liquid comes to a gentle boil turn heat to medium low. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the celery is soft.
4) Add the potato. Cook for about 45 minutes or until the potato is soft.
5) Once the potato and celery are soft to your preference then add the haddock and clams. Cook about a minute or two until the haddock is just cooked.
6) Add the half and half and season with fish sauce.

*You can substitute fish sauce for salt and vice versa.
*Use fresh parsley if have any. I had some dried up so I used this instead. I prefer to use parsley and thyme since they will not overpower the favor of this chowder.
*Littlenecks are clams. These have less sand and grits in them. The steamers have more sand and grits so you may want to rinse them after you have harvested the meat.

dried parsley
dried parsley

*If you have too much parsley it is quite easy to dry it for future use. Just chop the leafy parts and scatter it on a plate for a few days to air dry. Once it is completely dry store it in an airtight container.

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