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According to some historians, the word “chowder” was coined long before the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod. In their multilingual gatherings, fishermen from various parts of Europe corrupted the French word "chaudiere," the pot in which French fishermen made their stews, into the word “chowder.”
In essence, chowder is a seafood or vegetable soup, often served with milk or cream and thickened with broken up crackers. New England clam chowder is typically made with chopped clams and diced potatoes, in a mixed cream and milk base, often with a small amount of butter. Corn chowder uses corn instead of clams. Seafood chowder includes fish, clams and many other types of shellfish. Potato chowder is often made with cheese. Finally, because it is tomato-based and not made with milk or cream, Manhattan clam chowder is more akin to a vegetable soup with clams. We love them all!
When fish and seafood are on the ingredient list, we always believe that fresh is best. Motts Channel Seafood fishermen work hard to deliver the freshest chowder ingredients you can find, regardless of the style you plan to make. For some less traditional chowder ideas, click here.
Many people ask us, "Besides Old Bay, what is an all-purpose seasoning to keep on hand to add flavor to my fresh fish meal?"We would like to recommendVanns Spices Herbs for Fish.
It is based on the classic Italian recipe from the region of Lake Como, Italy and is useful in almost any dish, especially in any recipe containing tomatoes. Enjoy it on just about any fresh fish, chicken, salad or vegetable dish.
Cooler weather calls for more soups, stews and chowders on the lunch or dinner menu. Recipes for similar red-hued versions date back to the days of Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City in the late 19th century. This recipe comes to us courtesy of The New York Times. Banner Photo credit: Sarah Anne Ward.
Eight to ten servings.
24 Motts Channel Seafood fresh clams, rinsed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ pound slab bacon or salt pork, diced
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 large ribs celery, cleaned and diced
1 medium-size green pepper, diced
2 medium-size carrots, peeled and diced
Red-pepper flakes, to taste
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed or roughly diced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped parsley
Put the clams in a large, heavy Dutch oven, add about 4 cups water, then set over medium-high heat. Cover, and cook until clams have opened, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. (Clams that fail to open after 15 to 20 minutes should be discarded.) Strain clam broth through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or doubled-up paper towels, and set aside. Remove clams from shells, and set those aside as well.
Rinse out the pot, and return it to stove. Add butter, and turn heat to medium-low. Add bacon or salt pork, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the pork has started to brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove pork from fat, and set aside.
Add onions, garlic, celery, green peppers and carrots to the fat, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft but not brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in potatoes, and continue cooking until they have just started to soften, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add 4 cups of clam broth, reserving the rest for another use. Add the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf.
Partly cover the pot, and simmer gently until potatoes are tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smash a few potatoes against the side of the pot to release their starch and help thicken the broth.
Meanwhile, chop the clams into bits that are about the size of the bacon dice.
When potatoes are tender, stir in tomatoes, and heat them through. Add chopped clams and reserved bacon, stirring to combine. Add black pepper to taste. Let chowder come to a simmer, and remove from heat. Fish out the thyme and the bay leaf, and discard.
The chowder should be allowed to sit for a while to cure. Reheat it before serving, then garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with oyster crackers.
Help us name our unofficial fish mascot and win! Click here and share your idea. The deadline for entries is November 20th and we'll notify the winner on November 21st. Tickets can be picked up at the store during regular business hours. Good luck!
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Blockade Runner Beach Resort
Wrightsville Beach, NC
The Surf to Sound is an entire weekend of fun for the whole family at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach. The race is organized by The Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, organizers of the Carolina Cup.