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Chowders in General


Pat Goldberg
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The previous discussion of chowder has been only about clam chowder.  Now clam chowder well made is very good, but there are much better chowders -- fish (especially when made with cod cheeks); corn, made with fresh corn and its "milk"; and eel stifle.  I am sure there are more that other people prefer.

All of these are made pretty much the way clam chowder is made.

What are your favorite chowders?

Pat G.

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This is the best chowder/bisque of any kind I've ever eaten, and one of the single best food items I've sampled overall. Chef J. Matthew Seeber (formerly sous-chef at Gramercy Tavern and Tabla, and now chef at the soon-to-open Bid at Sotheby's) and I developed it over a long weekend a couple of years ago:

Chef Matt's "Fat Guy" Lobster Chowder

(Makes enough for two fat guys as a meal, or for four as an appetizer.)

Separate the tails and claws from four live 1.5-pound lobsters. Boil them until the meat is just cooked, approximately four minutes for the tails and eight minutes for the claws (measured from the time the water comes back up to the boil). Serve the lobster tails immediately, or refrigerate for use in lobster salads or other recipes. Remove and chop the claw meat, and refrigerate for use in the chowder.

Remove all innards from the lobster body, setting aside the roe if the lobster is a female. Rinse the bodies thoroughly.

In a 4-quart or bigger pot, place the bodies, a peeled and quartered onion, a peeled and roughly chopped carrot, a chopped celery stalk, and, if available, half a small fennel bulb. Cover with approximately 2 quarts of the cooking water from the claws and tails (or use plain water). Do not add salt (lobster is naturally salty). Bring to a boil and simmer for three hours.

Strain the stock, discard the solids, and place the liquid back on high heat. Reduce until you have about two cups of thick, rich lobster stock.

Add an equal amount of heavy cream, two diced boiled potatoes and the lobster claw meat. Bring back to the boil, heat through and serve.

Optional:

Combine the lobster roe with a few tablespoons of room-temperature butter and mix thoroughly with a fork until a smooth green paste is formed. Add this to the chowder at the end of cooking and boil, while stirring, for one minute. The lobster roe, when cooked this way, will turn everything a delightful shade of pink and provide further body and flavor to the chowder.

Add a smoked pork product, like bacon or sausage, to the chowder for a nice smoky flavor.

Add other chopped cooked vegetables (corn, carrots, leeks), fresh herbs (particularly tarragon) and/or shellfish (scallops, clams) to the chowder for variety.

If you perform all three of these optional steps, this will be one of the best, most insanely rich things you've ever eaten.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Not a recipe, but some of my favorite things to eat are the shellfish chowders and "pan roasts" at the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar. I love to watch the counter men making them in their old fashioned steam pots. There are a few variations available including all oysters (my favorite) and mixed shellfish. I wonder if there is a recipe available. I will look.

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At a place called the Blueberry Ranch, way north along the Maine coast in Machais, I had a unique clam chowder that I hadn't seen before.  It was close to an oyster stew approach.  Whole clams were sauted in butter and added to a milk base seasoned with clam broth.  Some pieces of boiled potato were thrown in, making it a chowder.

Not a traditional New England Clam chowder, but very, very good.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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  • 1 year later...

it is my understanding that by definition a chowder must contain potato, pork product (usually smoked bacon) and a shellfish of some sort (usually calms). in other words a chowder with one of these three things missing isn't a chowder (technically). that's not to say it wouldn't be good however

i was thinking that cream had to be in there, but that would rule out manhattan clam chowder...

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Separate the tails and claws from four live 1.5-pound lobsters. Boil them until the meat is just cooked, approximately four minutes for the tails and eight minutes for the claws (measured from the time the water comes back up to the boil).

Are you saying to take the live lobsters and cut off their claws and tails while they're lying there squirming?

If so, I am afraid I'm a little squeamish for that.

Is there another optional Step #1???

Like, can I have the fishmonger steam them, and then bring them home and start cutting off body parts and proceed from there???

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Are you saying to take the live lobsters and cut off their claws and tails while they're lying there squirming?

If so, I am afraid I'm a little squeamish for that.

Is there another optional Step #1???

Before disassembling the lobster, you can dispatch it with a chef's knife. Depending on the nature of your squeamishness, you may find this better or worse than just pulling it apart Iron Chef style.

Place the lobster on a cutting board and locate the cross-shaped indentation on the top of the head. Insert the tip of the knife in the center of the cross and cut down through the head and between the eyes. This should bring a relatively quick end to the squirming.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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1 recommendation: Last year some time (maybe early this year) I picked up Yankee magazine because they had, splashed across the cover, 'CHOWDER RECIPES!'. If only for one recipe, it was worth it. Scallop and sweet red pepper Chowder. *swoon* Perfection in a bowl - but no bacon!

And home cooking at its best...or maybe, camp cooking. When family camping, a standard meal is corn chowder, and because of the limitations imposed when camping (basically, being alcohol-induced) it's easy:

Potatos, peeled and cut up larger than dice, but not much. (My wife insists on peeling 'em - I don't) Say, 5 pounds. If you want a quicker dinner, boil them first and set aside.

Onions 1 pound or so. Peeled and thinly sliced

Bacon - half-pound or so, diced

Cream of mushroom soup 1 can

Oh, yeah - Corn! If I've got leftovers frozen from corn-on-the-cob season, I'll use those, otherwise 2 cans of supermarket corn. One of our local brands offers 'sweet' corn, and it's better by far.

Fry the bacon until crisp. Remove it from the pan, but leave the fat in.

Turn the heat way down and soften the onions.

If the potatos are precooked, then everything except the bacon goes in, heat it and serve.

If the potatos are raw, then add everything and cook until the potatos act just like the precooked ones ;)

Season to taste (salt/pepper only, please), top with the bacon and serve. A healthy blob of butter and black pepper garnish are de rigeur.....

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Scallop and sweet red pepper Chowder.  *swoon*  Perfection in a bowl -

I would absolutely love that recipe. Pleeeeeeze? :rolleyes::unsure::smile::rolleyes:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I've never had it, but if I could cook, I would prepare geoduck chowder.  :smile:

Cabrales, what does geoduck taste like? I used to see it at all the fish stores in San Francisco Chinatown, but I never cooked any. It's really prehistoric looking.

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Thank you for the links. The fleeing through the sand at the speed of light geoduck reminded me of the giant spice worms in Dune.

I like the idea of dipping thinly sliced geoduck in geoduck broth.

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jaymes,

another option is just to put the whole live lobster in the boiling water. the reason for separating the tail and claw is that they both cook at different rates. tail meat is easy to extract when it's half raw, but the claws are much easier to remove from the shell intact when they are cooked through. thirdly, when making a lobster stock from the shells and bodies, you want the bodies raw. you won't have 'em like that if you cook the lobster whole.

get in there, put on your favorite slayer album and rip up some lobsters! :wacko:

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jaymes,

another option is just to put the whole live lobster in the boiling water.  the reason for separating the tail and claw is that they both cook at different rates.  tail meat is easy to extract when it's half raw, but the claws are much easier to remove from the shell intact when they are cooked through.  thirdly, when making a lobster stock from the shells and bodies, you want the bodies raw.  you won't have 'em like that if you cook the lobster whole.

get in there, put on your favorite slayer album and rip up some lobsters!  :wacko:

Thanks.

Okay then, today's "to do" list:

Pick up live lobsters.

Pick up slayer album.

:biggrin::sad::shock::blink::laugh:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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As promised: (this chowder is rich and sweet.....)

1 large red bell pepper

3 cups fresh, frozen or canned corn kernels

3.5 cups milk

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 tsp dried thyme

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.5 pounds bay scallops

1/4 tsp red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

1. (OK - not verbatim - I'm not into typing that much)

char, steam and peel the pepper. Reserve the juice while working on it. Halve the pepper and remove the seeds.Do not rinse - flick off the seeds. Remove stem and ribs. Cut into small dice and put pieces in with juice. Set aside.

2. Combine half of the corn and 1.5 cups milk in a food processor; process until corn is pureed. Place a strainer over a bowl and strain the milk. (see thread above *grin*). Press down on corn skins to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the skins. Set the milk aside.

3. Melt butter in a large, broad saucepan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring until the onion is softened, but not browned. Add the corn-flavored milk, the remaining milk and corn kernels, the diced pepper and juice, thume, salt and a grinding of black pepper. Heat until simmering. Stir in the scallops and cook, stirring, just until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add pepper sauce to taste.

Yield: 4 servings.

k - the concise recipe:

Roast and peel the pepper, reserving the juice. Dice the pepper and put with juice.

Combine half the milk and corn and blend until pureed. (I've got an old Vitamix - I could blend a brick if pressed)

Melt the butter - then saute the onions over low heat until really soft.

Combine everything but the scallops and pepper sauce, heat until simmering.

Add the scallops and continue simmering until cooked - like 2 minutes.

Add pepper sauce - enjoy.

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As promised: (this chowder is rich and sweet.....)

Yuuuummm - two of my very favorite things :biggrin:

Stagis :wub: :big kiss:

Thanks. I really appreciate your digging it out and I'll make this right away.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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This is my all-time favorite cooking thread. I want to make all these chowders! Fat Guy's killer recipe reads like I could eat the paper it's printed on. But why do you not add the meat from the tails in the chowder? Or did I miss the explanation?

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Jaymes - the Yankee issue was a 'special' issue - Jan/Feb 2001. It sounds like it's right up your alley - Chowders: Special Obsessions, Myths and Legends, and a Controversy. If you have an auntie or somebody who saves these, it's worth looking up. Just like the Food and Wine issue that I cooked almost everything out of over the years. Most magazine recipes are too fussy for me, but this one was a holiday issue...Armadillo Turkey, Cranberry Pie, a whole raft of stuffings.....

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Jaymes - the Yankee issue was a 'special' issue - Jan/Feb 2001.  It sounds like it's right up your alley - Chowders:  Special Obsessions, Myths and Legends, and a Controversy.

"Yankee Magazine"? Y'all have a special magazine?? Who knew? (Well, I guess y'all did.)

But anyway, thanks for the info.

You're correct - it's sooooo right up my alley. Not only do I love soups, stews and chowders beyond all degree of rational human thought, I'm also pretty fond of Special Obsessions, Myths and Legends -- and I wouldn't be here on eGullet if I didn't find irresistable an occasional Controversy.

But alas I have no aunties who might have saved the magazine. What I am going to do is to telephone those nice folks and see if I can order that back issue.

:rolleyes:

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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