Monday, January 17, 2011


I should have kept Peter's lovely bowls for this application - they were so dramatic and small enough to serve an amuse bouche in style. These little bowls will have to suffice, however, as the girls I gifted Peter's bowls with at Christmas were thrilled and they took them straight home with them.

I made an ersatz clam chowder this week. I had some shrimp stock in the freezer and some organic potatoes that were threatening to sprout in the veggie bin, so I improvised a seafood chowder. We tried it last night as a little starter; these bowls are only an inch or two in diameter. It's not the usual thick, creamy New England clam chowder but it's a beloved cousin to that.

I chopped the better part of a big onion and softened that in butter, then added celery and finely chopped potatoes. When I added the shrimp stock, I also put in a couple of bay leaves to stew with the stock. I added the can of baby clams last, along with the liquor in the can, and let it all simmer for about 20 minutes before pouring in some half and half. I did add about a tablespoon of flour cooked for a few minutes in a like amount of butter to give it a little more body but it wasn't like the gluey clam chowder one gets sometimes in restaurants where they don't know any better and think you can substitute thickness for flavor.

Briny and sweet at the same time, the tender little clams yielded their essence and extra texture to the chowder. The shrimp stock remained staunchly shrimpy despite the addition of the baby clams and clam juice from the can, lending the soup its own individual taste. The vegetables were soft but not limp, giving extra flavor and texture to the whole.

I served the amuse bouches just to taste it but we'll have it for lunch or dinner the next day, when it all has a chance to really meld into a satisfying seafood soup.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to talk to you about an issue that I feel is a hot topic in environmental news. I have written an article that I think your readers would be interested in seeing on your blog.

Encouraging grocery shoppers to branch out from their usual selections and to join the local food movement, will help us conserve the forgotten species, and create a more sustainable agricultural system.

Kori Bubnack

Monday, January 17, 2011  
Blogger Greg said...

Will soups clear this fog? I hope so.

Monday, January 17, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Very cute. I LOVE small dishes.
We're having soup for lunch today. It's the only choice.

Monday, January 17, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kori, thanks for your offer but I haven't ever posted other people's work on my blog and the topic you've outlined is one that I and most of my readers already agree with strongly - you'd be preaching to the converted. Why not start a blog of your own and spread the word that way?

Greg, depends. If you are referring to mental fog, yes! If you mean the pearly pall that has engulfed us for the past few days, sadly, no.

Cookiecrumb, yes, these little dishes were irresistible when I saw them in a little shop some time ago. There's a stubby little carrot, too.

Monday, January 17, 2011  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

Creamy soups ... can't wait until winter :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Ms Mouse, they are the consolation for drippy skies and heavy "tule fog" that we've experienced in the past few days. But, you should be relishing vichyssoise now and cold borscht and gazpacho! So many cooling soups I'm looking forward to next summer!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011  

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