New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam ChowderEver since my last visit to Boston, MA., I just cannot get my mind off, possibly the best clam chowder I have ever had at the Barking Crab. The Barking Crab could be one of the coolest places to hang out on a Sunday afternoon, enjoying the riverside, good music, and some really good food. This place was so good, I ate there twice, and was convinced out of all of the chowder I have had, that it was simply the best. Their chowder was not cream based, but more of a broth, had some really fresh clams, and just looked really simple. As I will most likely try to recreate their chowder and make it my own in the near future, I first wanted to make a nice New England style chowder that was cream based, but not too heavy. This one is a must make for that lazy Sunday, and goes great with a nice and crispy baguette. Now if you are like me, you have had chowders where you are trying to find a potato, or some clams, but just seems as though you are slurping creamy broth. Not mine. As you can see by the picture, it is loaded with a ton of clams and potatoes!

Ingredients:

  • 3 10 oz cans of canned clams, in water if possible, drained (try to avoid the ones residing in oil)
  • 3 cups of clam juice
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 7 russet potatoes, peeled, and cubed
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 2-3 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tbsp of dry sherry
  • couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Nice french baguette, warmed

Begin by warming up your bacon on a low to medium heat in a large soup pot, cooking it until nice and crisp, but not burnt. Next add in your onion, and cook until soft, roughly 5 minutes. Next, add in the flour, stirring the for a few minutes. This will coat the bacon and onion, and thicken. Pretty neat stuff.

Next, add in your clam juice and mix with a whisk. Continue cooking on the low heat, cooking for roughly 5-7 minutes. The sauce will really begin to thicken, much like a gravy. Now is the time to add in the thyme (no pun intended), as well as the bay leave. This is where we are going to really begin to flavor the broth. Toss in the salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Add in all of the potatoes, and mix well, cooking until the potatoes become tender, roughly 12-15 minutes. Stir occassionally.

In another medium sized pan, add in your cream, milk, and clams, and bring to a medium temperature, roughly about the same time, 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to do this because you don’t want to add in cold cream and clams to a warm pot already, it just does not work.

When your potatoes are tender, add in the cream and clams, and mix well. Mix in the dry sherry. Taste and determine if it needs more salt or pepper, and if so, season to taste. Add a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce, and mix again.

Now before you bowl, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and break off a large chunk of the baquette, warming in the oven for about 5 minutes. Bowl and serve.  This was no Barking Crab style chowder, but it was definitely a bowl where many enjoyed.

How do you guys make your chowder? New England style, or Manhattan Style?

Turkey Club Sandwich with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Turkey Club SandwichMy turkey is finally gone, and I have to be honest with all of you, I am kind of glad. I’m “turkied out”. Before I close the chapter on this Thanksgiving holiday, I want to end it with a pretty awesome throw together; the turkey club with a kick. It is not often I order a club sandwich when dining, but I have always enjoyed it, and always take a peek at the club when others order it. Today I decided to make the turkey club my way, and you will possibly want to do the same as it is packed with smoked bacon, avocado, and an awesome chipotle mayo.

Ingredients:

  • Three Slices of white Bread
  • Oven Roasted Turkey, to your liking
  • Fresh Romaine Lettuce
  • Mild Cheddar Cheese Slices
  • 3 Slices of cooked, smoked bacon
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce

Begin by making the chipotle mayo. Remove a chipotle pepper from the adobo sauce, and finely chop it. Add a few tablespoons of the mayo to a bowl, and throw in the chopped chipotle pepper and stir. Next, toast the bread. Core out your avocado, by running a knife down the middle, and around the pit. Open up, and either take your knife and hit it into the pit of the avocado and removing it that way, or using a spoon. Then dig out the avocado. The hard part is over, because now we are ready to stack and have a great club sandwich.

Add the chipotle may to a slice of bread. Top with a slice of cheddar cheese, turkey, bacon, lettuce, and avocado. Add another slice of the bread and repeat the process. To the bottom of the third piece of bread, add the remaining mayo. You are ready to go. Either slice this in half, or do what I did and just open up wide, and get to it. Trustt me, the flavors of the chipotle mayo and avocado make this one a must make.

Enjoy.

Perfect Thanksgiving Salad

Mixed Salad with Blue Cheese and BaconThere is something to be said about the food that we can create during the seasons, and as much as I love barbecue and smoking in the summer months, I must say that I enjoy the bold and comfortable flavors of late autumn and early winter. For this past Thanksgiving, I wanted to bring a mixed green salad to the table, with the bold flavor of stilton blue cheese.

Ingredients:

  • Mixed baby greens
  • Stilton blue cheese
  • Smoked Bacon, cooked and crumbled.

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp baslamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • fresh black pepper
  • olive oil

Start by cooking the bacon. Once cooked, place on some paper towel to drain any excess oil. Next, add the greens to the bowl. In a seperate bowl, add all the dressing ingredients, with the exception of the olive oil. Get a whisk, and slowly add in the olive oil, continuing to whisk. Taste the dressing. It should be smooth and tart, but not too sour. If it is too sour, keep whisking in a bit more olive oil.

The goal is that you want this salad to have a very light dressing, not something that soaks the leaves.

When you are ready to serve, mix the dressing with the greens. (I like to plate individually). To your salad plate, add the greens, crumble a bit of the bacon on top, as well as the blue cheese. Serve with a bacon wrapped breadstick. Enjoy.

P.S. I have also used bacon wrapped figs on this one and it is truly delicious as well.