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Innovative chowder ideas


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On 3/17/2016 at 4:11 AM, kbjesq said:

Can you post a list of the chowders that you've entered (at least for the last 5 yrs that we missed)? 

 

Off the top of my head these are all the chowders I can remember making over the years for this competition:

 

Classic quahog (two years)*; oyster, leek and white miso; ham hock chowder with corn and yellow eye beans; oyster and ham chowder with saffron; traditional oyster chowder; clear-broth mussel and shrimp chowder; oyster, leek and vermouth chowder; corn and crawfish chowder; scallop chowder? (my mind is starting to go blank).

 

Out of those, I won the people's choice with the corn and crawfish and oyster-leek-vermouth. I won an "innovative" from the judges somewhere along the way (can't recall what for, and "innovative" always seems like a runner-up prize in this), and I won the (IMO most coveted) "classic" prize from the judges three times, most recently for my quahog chowders.

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@chappie  being from New England myself, I would like to know the basics of your version of quahog chowder.  Myself, I use both onion and finely diced celery (which I know is somewhat controversial - the celery part), along with a quality bay leaf or three, which is sauteed in butter just until the onions are transparent.  Steam the clams just until they open, add clam juice to pot with the onion, celery and bay leaf.  Add small dice potatoes (red bliss preferred) that have been well and truly rinsed in cold water.  Simmer until potatoes are soft.  Meanwhile, chop the quahogs - I like large pieces, being absolutely sure to remove and discard the darn adductor muscle.  When potatoes are soft, smash them just a bit in the pot, then add milk (not cream!), fold the quahogs back in, add salt and pepper to taste and bring back to just below the simmer, remove the bay leaf and serve in warm bowls. 

 

I don't like my quahogs cooked - just warmed through barely.  And they should comprise a minimum of 25% of the chowder.  Nothing worse than a miserly chowder.

 

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You're in Maryland, how about crab? -Or is that overplayed? There used to be a French restaurant in downtown Annapolis that made a great crab bisque...

 

How do you serve for judging, is it individual bowls or a big pot? If I make a cream soup, like cream of broccoli, I add about a half-dozen drops of lemon juice on top as I am serving. (or, give people a lemon wedge to do their own) I like the contrasting flavors. But then, of course, there's the bisque route, with cognac splashed and swirled in the bowl.

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2 hours ago, chappie said:

ham hock chowder with corn and yellow eye beans


That sounds tasty. So does the crawfish and corn chowder but crawfish, fresh or frozen, are not to be had where I live. The ham hock chowder is doable though.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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