Tag Archives: Soup

Portuguese Style Clam Chowder

10 Jul

As you may recall, Joe and I went clamming while we were down at the Cape for 4th of July weekend. So, with over 5 dozen clams, one wonders, what to do with all of those CLAMS?!?!

Clams are obviously delicious when they are steamed. Here are a few suggestions on steaming clams.

1. Before steaming your clams, make sure you wash them thoroughly to dislodge any muck or dirt or sand. You may have to change the water a few times. Use a sponge or a brush to get the caked on stuff off.

2. If you are planning on cooking the clams the same day you buy them or collect them, keeping them in fresh water is ok. If you aren’t planning on using them the same day, then make sure you use a salt water solution so they keep fresh.

3. Discard any open clams. Gross.

4. You can steam clams 2 different ways; in the water and above the water. For this particular time we had a gigantic lobster pot with a steamer on top, so we went with above the water.

5. Fill the bottom pot with water and then place the steamer on top. You can place the clams up so you can see when they open, or you can just throw them in there and let them do their thing.

6. Let the water come to a boil before adding the clams. The first time around I let the clams sit above the water before it came to a boil. Nothing wrong with that, but it just took longer.

6. Once the water is boiling, the clams take about 10 minutes or so to open. Make sure they are open fairly wide before taking them out. We had a couple really big clams that only opened partially and we chucked them just to be on the safe side.

7. Once the clams are open, immediately take them out of the steamer. You don’t want to overcook them! Keep adding new clams to the steamer and check them┬áperiodically. It was slow goings for a while for me, but after the first batch was done, it went by really fast.

8. Let the clams cool a bit before attempting to shell them. I ended up tearing out most of them with my hands, but you can use a knife as well.

9. DON’T THROW AWAY THE JUICE THAT’S LEFT BEHIND!!!! It’s delicious, and can be used when you make your clam chowder ­čÖé

I seriously wished I had taken a picture of all the shelled clams, but I was basically a machine at that point, hah.

I love creamy clam chowder. I refuse to count Manhattan Clam Chowder as chowder. It’s soup, and it doesn’t hold a candle next to New England style Clam Chowder. I infused some of my Portuguese roots by adding paprika and some linguica to the pot. Everyone gulped it up, included Joe’s grandfather who ate THREE BOWLS. If that’s not a resounding seal of approval then I don’t know what is.

I little side note: I like to add A LOT of clams to my chowder. It is CLAM chowder after all. There are a lot of places that make their clam chowder and there is hardly any clams, just a lot of potatoes. Bah. So please, do load up on the clams, like I’ve done here. ENJOY!

Portuguese Style Clam Chowder

Adapted from Cooking for Engineers

  • 2-3 cups chopped steamed clams, shells removed (or more, if you are a clam fiend)
  • 2lbs russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 slices fatty hickory smoked bacon
  • 10-15oz clam juice
  • 1.25 cups whole milk
  • 1.25 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 4 links of cooked linguica, chopped
Heat a pot on medium high and add the bacon. Cook the bacon until crispy and remove the bacon but keep the grease. Add the chopped onions and stir until coated and then cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir until the potatoes are covered with the fat then add the flour and mix.
Add the clam juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are softened.
Add the clams, milk and cream and stir to combine. Add the paprika and linguica and add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through, about an additional 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.
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Guest Post at Cooking Whims!

14 Apr

Hey everyone! I’m guest posting over on Megan’s blog, Cooking Whims today. Make sure you go check it out!!

Coconut Curry Soup

Lots of good stuff happening! Enjoy!

Soup Swap!

6 Feb

One of my favorite things about blogging is having the chance to meet people who are just as geeked out about food as I am. It makes me feel better about myself and that I am not crazy despite the weird looks my husband gives me sometimes. Back at the Boston Food Bloggers Launch party I met a lot of fabulous bloggers.

Three of those fabulous bloggers were (from left to right) Ashley from Cooking for 1, Liz from Eating Places, and Megan from Cooking Whims. While talking we all thought it would be a great idea to have a soup swap, since January is National Soup Swap Month. So the last weekend in January, we all trekked out to Salem to eat and talk about food!

Along with each of us making a soup, we also brought something else, whether it be dessert, salad, bread, or fruit.

We got to Ashley’s house and was greeted by an awesome salad display, completed with homemade croutons.

I supplied the bread, which let-me-tell-you, was not the first bread on my list. I wanted to make a baguette, but forgot and by the time I remembered I couldn’t make it, then I wanted to make a semolina bread, but couldn’t find any durum wheat, and so finally settled on this Italian loaf from the King Arthur Flour website. It rose too far out and not high enough, but it was still tasty.

I also brought along some cheese to go with the bread and soups.

The soups, starting at the top and going clockwise, are Megan’s Roasted Garlic Soup, my French Onion Soup, Liz’s Mushroom Barley Soup, and Ashley’s Butternut Squash Soup. They were all fantastic in case you were wondering.

Megan provided the dessert, which was an insanely decadent peanut butter chocolate torte. It was out of this world delicious. My husband was sad when he finished the leftovers.

We had such a fantastic time, eating, drinking (mimosas!) and talking. We had such a fabulous time we are thinking of making it a monthly tradition!

French Onion Soup

1 Feb

A few weeks ago I took a knife skills class at the Boston Center for Adult Education. I picked up some great tricks to add to my culinary arsenal. I learned when to pull and push my knife depending on what I’m cutting. I learned how to de-bone a chicken (and it was awesome!).┬á Not to mention we ate some delicious food. One of them being this French Onion Soup.

So when I needed to come up with a soup to make for a Soup Potluck that I was having with Ashley from Cooking for 1, Megan from Cooking Whims and Liz from Eating Places I immediately thought of this soup. I made this the week before and I’m glad I did because I was able to tweak it to really bring out the flavor of the soup. I highly recommend pairing this with some crusty Italian bread and melted cheese. It’s pretty amazing. I’ll be recapping our soup swap next time!

 

French Onion Soup

Adapted from my BCAE knife skills class

  • 6 large yellow onions, half chopped and half sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp beef base
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • half package bacon, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, heat the pan and add the bacon. Cook bacon over medium high heat until crispy and then using a strainer, remove the bacon and put aside.

Keep the reserved bacon fat in the pan and add about 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions. In order to make a good caramelized onion without using sugar it’s important to stir the onions only when you need to. In fact, add the onions to the pan and walk away from it for at least 10 minutes. Do not turn the onions until the bottom is browned. Once they are browned, stir and turn the onions and let sit for another 10 minutes or so. Continue to stir, turn and wait until all the onions are browned. Then add the minced garlic and stir for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

In a medium sized soup pot add the water and beef base and stir to break up the base. Add the onions and garlic to the pot along with the wine, bay leaf and chopped thyme. Cover partially and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. I had some smoked salt and used that.

When you are ready to serve, add the crispy bacon to the soup. Feel free to add some cheese to your soup to make it extra creamy. Serve with some crusty bread.

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