12/30/07

Mmm... Chowder...

Mmm... Clam Chowder. I had an epiphany in the shower yesterday morning. You know Churchill wrote most of his speeches in the bathtub, well, I get a lot of my crazy ideas in the shower. I think it's due to the fact it's the only time I get 15 minutes to myself before the sous chefs come calling or questioning or pestering me is more like it. I was thinking about what I was going to make for dinner and BAM! it hit me, clam chowder. This is my own recipe, so you only have me to blame if it doesn't turn out.
Krysta's Clam Chowder (feeds my hungry crew of 8 + leftovers)
2 cans of baby clams (drained... save a little of the juice if you want more of a clammy taste)
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 shallot, finely chopped
6 red potatoes, peeled and diced into bite-sized chunks ( I'm sure there is a proper culinary term but the name escapes me! Also I like waxy potatoes in this dish because the silkiness of the half and half with the waxy potatoes has a nice mouth feel. * doesn't that just sound dirty!* I think the russet potatoes have a gritty texture in this dish. And who wants gritty in their soup?)
1 pound of ham, diced into bite-sized chunks
1 quart of warmed half and half
4 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of olive oil
( I didn't have any bacon fat but if have some on hand by all means use that... everything tastes better with bacon!)
1/3 cup of flour
salt and course ground pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
a dash of paprika
In a heavy sauce pot, melt butter and oil. Add onions and shallots and cook until soft and translucent. Add flour to make a roux. Cook flour until it's a light beige color. Slowly mix in warmed half and half until roux is completely dissolved. Add potatoes, ham, and seasoning. Simmer on low until potatoes are cooked through. Make sure to keep stirring so the half and half doesn't scald. Also, if the soup is too thick for you add a little milk until it's the consistency you like.
Serve with salad or oyster crackers or some buttered toasted sourdough bread. Serve it with whatever makes you happy.