Cook to Impress!
September 28, 2004 2:41 PM Subscribe
From the general
to the specific: What are your favorite recipes, the dishes you prepare when you want to impress?
posted by jdroth to food & drink (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
This clam chowder never fails to impress:
Skipjack's Clam Chowder
from November 2000 Bon Appétit
with modifications by J.D. Roth
- Three 8-oz bottles of clam juice
- One pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (resist the urge to use Yukon Gold potatoes)
- Two tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- Three slices bacon, finely chopped (I use thick, hammy deli bacon -- use six slices of bacon if you're using the thin, pre-packaged stuff)
- Two cups chopped onions (about one large yellow onion)
- Three stalks (about 1-1/4 cups) of celery with leaves, chopped
- Five garlic cloves, minced
- One bay leaf
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Six 6-1/2 oz cans minced clams, drained, juices reserved (chopped clams are fine -- I use minced because Kris doesn't like large, rubbery clam chunks)
- 1-1/2 cups half-and-half
- One teaspoon hot pepper sauce (we use Tapatío, but you might prefer Tabasco)
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon hickory smoke salt (hard-to-find, but great flavor!)
At the top of my recipe card I've written, in bold: NOTE: Prepare ingredients before starting!
Experienced, or quick, cooks can ignore this advice. I'm neither experienced nor quick. If I don't prepare the ingredients before starting the chowder, it's a disaster.
- Bring the bottled clam juice and potatoes to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender (about ten minutes). Remove from heat.
- Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown (about 8-10 minutes). Add onions, celery, garlic, and bay leaf. Sauté until vegetables soften, about six minutes.
- Stir in flour and cook two minutes. Do not allow flour to brown.
- Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, calms, half-and-half, hickory smoke salt, and hot pepper sauce. Simmer chowder to blend flavors, stirring frequently.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Chowder can be served after as few as ten minutes of simmering, or it can sit on the stove contentedly for hours.
The garlic can be reduced; I think the original recipe called for only one or two cloves.