Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Clam Chowder #2

Roommate Smurf finally got a permanent job she likes, after two years of temping.  As a result, she is moving out at the end of the month.  This was always her goal.  She was supposed to be here for 3 months while she was temping in the area.  That was October 2012.

Back then, I was toying with the idea of getting rid of my extra fridge.  My parents had it for parties.  I don't throw as many, and since I keep so little food on hand that isn't fresh, I can generally fit everything in one.  Until Roommate Smurf moved in, the extra fridge was unplugged most of the time.

My neighbor across the street hasn't had a fridge since I've known him.  He's waiting until after his kitchen remodel to get one.  It has been two years, and he has yet to start.  I've offered him the spare, no strings attached, until he gets around to getting one.

There is a point to this story.  I'm about to get to it.  It was a lot shorter in my mind before I started writing.

If I'm going down to one fridge (and a chest freezer), I need to downsize my foods as much as possible.  There's a tea party coming up soon.  Part of that effort is using some of the jars of stock in the freezer.  I don't dare to put glass jars in the chest freezer.  That's way too dangerous.  The rest is going through my bottled condiments to root out ancient salad dressings and such.

So out comes a jar of fish stock.  This recipe is largely like the first chowder, except you get a much thinner soup.  Even with cooking the potatoes in the main soup pot, I couldn't get it thick.  It isn't bad, just more brothy than the other version.  And with a much stronger seafood flavor.

1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
2 Tb butter
1/4 C flour
1 large russet potato, about 1 lb, in 1/2" dice
*1 quart fish stock
2 5oz cans whole or chopped clams
*1 C milk
salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a large soup pot, melt butter.  Add onion and celery and cook over medium heat until soft, stirring periodically.

2.  Dump in flour and stir to make a paste with the veggies.  This will thicken the soup some, and soak up the butter and oil in the stock.  Add potato and stock.  Stir together and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until potato is done, about 10 to 15 minutes.

3.  Stir in clams and whatever juice they were packed in.  Stir in milk.  Turn up the heat a bit and see if you can get it to thicken a little.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Serve hot.

Difficulty rating  π

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