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New England Clam Chowder Day...1/21

Posted by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 10:37 PM
  • 40 Replies

...is the Food of the Day for 1/21!

Do you like New England Clam Chowder?  Ever made it?  Buy it in a can or have a favorite restaurant you like to get it from.  A favorite recipe you'd like to share?  Do tell. :-)  

Below is a little history and in replies is a recipe.  


New Englanders use the Native American term quahogThe name quahog derives from the Narragansett Indian name for"poquauhock." The scientific name, mercenaria, of these clams comes from Latin meaning "wages." because Native Americans strung the shells like beads and used them as money or "wampum." Quahogs replace fish in the fish-milk stews of coastal England and France to become New England chowder. Prounounced "chowdah" by people situated north of Connecticut.

In Maine, those living on one side of Penobscot Bay like their clam chowder made with tomatoes, while those living on the other side like it made with milk and no tomatoes. Maine residents often call their region "Down East" and their chowder "Down East Chowder."  The definition of of "Down East" is:

When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was at their backs, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term “Down East.” And it follows that when they returned to Boston they were sailing upwind; many Mainers still speak of going “up to Boston,” despite the fact that the city lies approximately fifty miles to the south of Maine’s southern border.

By 1836, clam chowder was already well-know in Boston and served at Ye Olde Union Oyster House, the nation's oldest continuously operating restaurant. The building that houses the Union Oyster House is about 250 years old. Daniel Webster, the noted lawyer and orator who served as a Congressman and as Secretary of State, was a regular at the bar, where he was known for downing a tumbler of brandy and water with each half-dozen oysters--and he'd rarely eat less than six plates of the tasty bivalves!

Herman Melville (1819-1891), American novelist, devoted a whole chapter in his famous 1851 book Moby Dick. He writes of the Try Pots, a chowder house in Nantucket, Mass., which served only cod or clam chowder:

However, a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt. Our appetites being sharpened by the frosty voyage, and in particular, Queequeg seeing his favourite fishing food before him, and the chowder being surpassingly excellent, we despatched it with great expedition: when leaning back a moment and bethinking me of Mrs. Hussey's clam and cod announcement, I thought I would try a little experiment. Stepping to the kitchen door, I uttered the word "cod" with great emphasis, and resumed my seat. In a few moments the savoury steam came forth again, but with a different flavor, and in good time a fine cod-chowder was placed before us . . . Fishiest of all fishy places was the Try Pots, which well deserved its name; for the pots there were always boiling chowders. Chowder for breakfast, and chowder for dinner, and chowder for supper, till you began to look for fish-bones coming through your clothes. The area before the house was paved with clam-shells.


Western Rhode Islanders prefer clear chowder, while others swear by adding just enough tomatoes to tint it a pretty pink color. 

Joseph C. Lincoln (1870-1944), author of 47 books and plays about Cape Cod wrote about New England clam chowder:

A New England clam chowder, made as it should be, is a dish to preach about, to chant praises and sing hymns and burn incense before. To fight for. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought for--or on--clam chowder; part of it at least, I am sure it was. It is as American as the Stars and Stripes, as patriotic as the national Anthem. It is 'Yankee Doodle in a kettle.'
 



by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 10:37 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sukainah
by Gold Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 10:38 PM

New England Clam Chowder
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, originally appearing in Emeril's Potluck, William Morrow Publishers, New York, 2004

Prep Time:25 minInactive Prep Time:1 hr 0 minCook Time:1 hr 5 min
Level:
Intermediate
Serves:
4 quarts, 12 servings

Ingredients
10 pounds small quahogs or large cherrystone clams, scrubbed and rinsed, open clams discarded
6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (2 1/2 to 3 cups)
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into half-tablespoon pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives or green onions
Directions
In a large stockpot bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the clams, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and quickly stir the clams with a wooden spoon. Cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer (this will depend on the type and size of the clams), or until most of the clams are open.

Transfer the clams to a large bowl or baking dish and strain the broth twice through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, being careful to strain out the sand. (You should have about 8 cups of clam broth. If not, add enough water to bring the volume up to 8 cups.) When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set the clams and broth aside.

Cook the bacon in a large heavy pot over medium heat until crisp and the fat is rendered. Pour off all the bacon fat except 2 tablespoons. Add the 4 tablespoons butter, leeks, onions, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are thoroughly wilted, about 3 minutes, being careful not to brown. Add the potatoes and reserved clam broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the broth thickens slightly and the potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes. (If you like a thicker broth, mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.). Remove from the heat, Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves, stir in the clams and cream, and season with the pepper and the salt to taste.

Set the chowder aside for 1 hour, covered, to allow the flavors to marry. Place the pot over low heat and slowly reheat, being careful not to let boil. Serve hot; garnish each bowl with a pat of butter and some parsley and chives.


momofnatalie
by Lisa on Jan. 20, 2014 at 10:40 PM
1 mom liked this

I love Clam Chowder.  What a great day!

taKENheart
by Platinum Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 10:48 PM
1 mom liked this

I've only had the canned clam chowder lol.  I used to like it but not so much anymore.  My ds still likes it though but I rarely think to buy it.  I would never make it from scratch because nobody else would eat it.

sukainah
by Gold Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:01 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm pretty sure that would happen in my house too, where nobody would eat it lol

Quoting taKENheart:

I've only had the canned clam chowder lol.  I used to like it but not so much anymore.  My ds still likes it though but I rarely think to buy it.  I would never make it from scratch because nobody else would eat it.


AzariahsMother
by on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:13 PM
1 mom liked this
Tfs
taKENheart
by Platinum Member on Jan. 20, 2014 at 11:34 PM
1 mom liked this

LOL!!!  It's just one of those soups that not everyone likes so I would hate to make it and it go bad.  My dd won't eat seafood at all.  It's not my dh's type of soup.  I'd have to make a tiny batch so why bother, lol!  I know you know the feeling.

Quoting sukainah:

I'm pretty sure that would happen in my house too, where nobody would eat it lol

Quoting taKENheart:

I've only had the canned clam chowder lol.  I used to like it but not so much anymore.  My ds still likes it though but I rarely think to buy it.  I would never make it from scratch because nobody else would eat it.



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by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:02 AM
1 mom liked this

I love clam chowder ;)

exhaustedmother
by Bronze Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:03 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't like it but then again I won't eat anything with seafood in it. My DH loves it though so every now and then he will eat it.

jconney80
by Platinum Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:09 AM
1 mom liked this
I love clam chowder. My hubby makes it and it's wonderful. I love getting it at John G's in Lake Worth Florida
SimplyEnchanted
by Kristin on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:10 AM
1 mom liked this
Eww no.
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