Saturday, October 17, 2009

last friday's lunch

damn damn dammmitttt!!!
it’s too hot—mouthful of lava. god, i’ve done this a million times.
after i finally swallow the molten mix & calm down, i begin to savor what’s passing across my lips….the velvety silken broth: creamy & salty. so buttery it’s almost sweet. punctuated by treasured chunks here & there…a cubed potato or onion…a sliver of celery…dissolving between my tongue & the roof of my mouth. a tender morsel of clam that is bursting with the essence of the sea itself. closing my eyes & leaning back onto the headrest. overspray from the rain as it hits the partially rolled down driver’s side window & mists my face. the continual splashing of a fountain 100 feet away. happy. warm. satiated. dreamy. high. how quickly comfort wraps me up in this brief indulgence. intense soothing found in a simple hot cup of chowder during a cold & rainy lunch break.
so here’s my recipe. it’s a little more herby than other chowders i’ve come across, simply because i consistently lean toward “big” flavors. give it a twirl, adjusting spices/ herbs as desired along the way…and keep in mind that it’ll be even more flavorful the next day (as if you’re actually gonna have leftovers, ha!), as all the elements have had a chance to meld with the broth and permeate the veggies. let me know how it goes….

New England Clam Chowder
· 3 c. diced potatoes (1/2”)
· 1 stick butter (4 oz.)
· 2 c. diced onions (1/2”)
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 ½ c. diced celery (1/4”)
· 1 10oz bottle clam broth/juice (PLEASE add 1-2 T. clam base if you can find it)
· 1 t. dried thyme leaves
· 2 dried bay leaves, whole
· 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
· 1 1/2 c whole baby clams, large can with juice they’re packed in
· 2 c half-n-half
· 1 T. dried parsley
1. Cover potatoes w/ water & cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter & sauté onions, celery, & garlic until onions are clear.
3. Add clam broth/juice, thyme, black pepper & bay leaves being careful not to break the leaves.
4. Cook for 15 minutes until hot and bubbly. Turn heat to low.
5. Add clams & potatoes, simmering for 15 minutes more.
6. Add the half-n-half & parsley. turn off the burner.
7. Refrigerate leftovers (ha!).
8. Serves 7-10.

9. I had it with crusty chunks of olive & rosemary filone and pinot grigio (Barefoot cellars)

p.s. of course the big omission here is the pork. (im a pescetarian now). i love bacon, but i’m currently trying to circumvent what i’ve heard is impending cardio doom for anyone with my family genetics who continues to travel a path of gastronomic hedonism. proceed at your own risk.

p.s.s. and certainly using fresh clams, herbs, etc. makes everything better. i concocted this on a “school night” so it had to be a quickie. if you have a recipe that uses fresh ingredients and you want to share, by all means send it to me! i’d love to try it out next time i spend all day saturday cooking.


No comments:

Post a Comment