Chowder comes from the French word "chaudiere," meaning "large copper pot." In Brittany, fishermen would combine their fish in one of these pots, add spices, and share the resulting soup. This custom traveled with the Bretons to Newfoundland and then down to New England.

Pidgeon's chowder recipe.

2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 potatoes, washed and sliced
41/2 cups vegetable stock, made from cubes
1 pound skinless, boneless salmon, cut into chunks
2 cans (151/4 ounces each) creamed corn
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 dozen hazelnuts, shells removed, finely chopped
1 cup fresh chopped parsley

Put onions and potatoes in large sauté pan. Add vegetable stock and simmer about 8 minutes, until potatoes are soft but not broken. Add salmon, creamed corn and a splash of milk. Continue adding milk until chowder is desired consistency.

Gently simmer for 5 minutes, until salmon is cooked through (you want it to flake).
Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and parsley on top of individual servings.
Makes 4 servings.




Manhattan Clam Chowder

           8 pounds quahog or large cherrystone clams, scrubbed and rinsed, opened clams discarded
           4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 -inch lengths
           2 cups finely chopped onion
           1 cup finely chopped celery
           1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
           3/4 cup diced carrot
           1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
           3 bay leaves
           1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
           4 sprigs fresh thyme
           1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
           1 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
           1 cup chicken stock
           3 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes or 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
           1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
           Freshly ground black pepper
           Salt

In a large stockpot, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add clams, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, quickly stir clams well with a wooden spoon, and recover. Allow clams to cook 5 to 10 minutes longer (this will depend on the type and size of clams you are using), or until most of the clams are opened.

Transfer clams to a large bowl or baking dish and strain broth through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. (You should have about 6 cups of clam broth. If not, add enough water to bring the volume up to 6 cups.) When clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set clams and broth aside.
In a large heavy pot, add bacon and render until golden and crispy. Pour off all fat except 4 tablespoons. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and carrots and cook for 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Do not allow to color. Add garlic, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Increase heat to high and add potatoes, reserved clam broth, and chicken stock and bring to a boil, covered. Cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened somewhat. Add tomatoes and continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add reserved clams and parsley and season with pepper and salt, if necessary. Allow chowder to sit for up to 1 hour to allow flavors to meld, then reheat slowly over low fire if necessary. Do not allow to boil.


Smoky Clam Chowder with Bacon, Chipotle and Cilantro Makes 4 to 6 servings

3 bacon slices, preferably dry cured and smoked, diced
1 yellow onion, cut into small dice
3 celery ribs, cut into small dice
-Kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or chipotle flakes
2 potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup fish stock or bottled clam juice
2 cups half-and-half
2 cans (6.5 ounces each) chopped clams with their juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup hard-smoked salmon, broken into small pieces (see Note below)
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
-Black pepper in a mill

Fry the bacon in a heavy saucepan set over medium heat and when it is almost crispy use a slotted spoon to transfer it to absorbent paper.

Cook the onion and the celery in the bacon fat until very soft and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Season lightly with salt and add the chipotle chowder.

Add the diced potatoes, fish stock or clam juice and half-and-half and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the clams, cream and salmon and simmer until heated through, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Taste, correct for salt, stir in the cilantro and add several turns of black pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

Note: Hard-smoked salmon, also called hard-cooked smoked salmon, salmon jerky and squaw candy, is firm rather than oily and pliable. Use your fingers to break it into pieces.

Another varation of traditional New England clam chowder

3 cups water or fish stock (see Note below)
1 cup dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 to 3 thyme sprigs
1 Italian parsley sprig
6 to 8 pounds littleneck clams, cherrystone clams or cockles, washed in running water
4 ounces bacon, diced
1 large or 2 medium white onions, cut into small dice
-Kosher salt
2 to 3 potatoes (2 pounds), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
-Black pepper in a mill
-Sourdough bread, hot

Put the water or fish stock and wine in a large soup pot, add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and parsley and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat so the liquid simmers, add the clams or cockles, cover the pot and steam until the clams open, about 8 to 10 minutes, or a bit longer.

Remove the lid and use a slotted spoon to transfer the clams to a wide shallow bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, strain the cooking liquid through several layers of cheese cloth, reserving the liquid and discard the aromatics.

When the clams are cool enough to touch, remove the cooked clams from their shells. Chop the clams into ½-inch pieces; if using cockles, leave them whole. Set them aside.
Cook the bacon in a heavy saucepan set over medium heat until it is almost but not quite fully crisp. Transfer the bacon to absorbent paper.

Cook the onions in the bacon fat over low heat until they are very limp and fragrant, about 18 minutes. Season lightly with kosher salt. Add the reserved cooking liquid and the potatoes, bring to a boil over medium heat, lower the heat and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree a small portion of the soup by inserting the blender near the side of the pot and moving it in a small circular motion; puree no more than one-quarter of the soup.

If you do not have an immersion blender, press a ladleful or two of the potatoes through a strainer or food mill.

Stir in the clams or cockles and the bacon and simmer five minutes. Add the cream and the parsley and simmer very gently until heated through. Season very generously with black pepper and remove from the heat.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve with hot bread alongside.

Note: To make fish stock, put 3 pounds fish heads, tails and bones that have been rinsed in several changes of cold water into a stock pot, along with a yellow onion cut in quarters, the white part of one leek, 2 inner stalks of celery and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Add 1 cup dry white wine and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat, cool slightly and strain into a clean container. Store, covered, in the refrigerator and use within three days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Variation: If you do not want to use bacon, simply omit it and saute the onions in 3 tablespoons butter. Taste the chowder after adding the cream and correct for salt.
There are layers of smoky flavor in this voluptuous chowder, from the bacon, from the chipotle and from the smoked salmon. If you're looking for the purity of Boston-style clam chowder, this is not the recipe for you. However, if you like the combination of brine, heat and smoke, accented by the refreshing flourish of cilantro, you'll love this chowder.

Aidan’s Pub Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Aidan’s Pub Rhode Island Clam Chowder
4 T. clarified butter (or substitute with half stick of butter)
2 large onions, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 pints fresh clams (clams must be fresh)
3 large potatoes, diced
1½ T. fresh dill, chopped
2 T. flour
Salt and pepper to taste
16 oz. clam juice or water

Sweat onion and celery in butter over low heat until soft. Add clam meat, while reserving their juice. Stir gently for about 2 minutes. Add flour and dill and stir for about 3 to 4 minutes to form a roux. Add potatoes and cook 3 for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved clam juice and additional clam juice or water. Mix well and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with oyster crackers. Serves about 10.

Southern Illinois Chowder

Cooks with chowder curiosity will find a worthy cooking technique adapted from the French by many cultures.

Think of chowder as a thickened stew. Most often, that’s with milk or cream, but more often half and half these days. The original thickening was crushed biscuits, but soda crackers work well.

The fun comes in deciding the ingredients. Most chowders are seafood and vegetables. Clam chowder made with cream is the most popular, but there’s an exception to the dairy rule. New England clam chowder is made with cream. Manhattan clam chowder substitutes chopped tomato sauce for the cream. Other chowders include corn, white fish, potato and squash.

Chowder’s name comes from its cooking pot, the French chaudiere. In New England, it’s “chowda.” Fishermen in Newfoundland, who threw a selection of their catch into a pot and cooked it in cream, may have made the first chowder. Potato chunks were often added.

New England remains the chowder capital of America. Its popularity extends into Maritime Canada. The oddball is Southern Illinois Chowder, a thick, French-Indian stew. “Chowder time” there starts with the tomato crop and is served at social gatherings, which are called “chowders.”

Southern Illinois Chowder
o          1 gallon water
o          1 1⁄2 pounds stewing beef, cut in chunks
o          1 1⁄4 pounds boneless chicken, cut up
o          1 small head cabbage, chopped
o          3 large stalks celery, chopped
o          3 cups carrots, diced
o          1 large onion, chopped
o          1 cup mushrooms, sliced
o          2 quarts peeled and diced potatoes
o          2 1⁄2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, thawed
o          1 (15-ounce) can lima beans, drained
o          24 ounces tomato sauce
o          1 1⁄2 cups frozen corn, thawed
o          1⁄2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
o          Salt and pepper to taste

Add beef to boiling water, cover and simmer for an hour. Add chicken and continue cooking another 1 1⁄2 hours, stirring frequently. Add cabbage, mushrooms, celery and carrots. Cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, then the potatoes. Cook for 45 minutes. Add green beans. Cook another hour. Add lima beans, and cook a final 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Near the end of the time, add the tomato sauce, corn and pepper sauce and seasonings.
Makes 20 servings.

Note: Use for a slow boil. Be sure to stir often to prevent sticking. If shrimp and scallops are substituted for the beef, add in last 15 minutes.

TRADITIONAL NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER


o          3 1/4lb (1.5kg) fresh littleneck clams
o          10 tbsp (11/4 sticks) unsalted butter
o          1/4 cup all-purpose flour
o          1 cup dry white wine
o          3 cups hot Fish Stock
o          1 cup fresh corn kernels, or drained and rinsed canned corn
o          1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2in (1cm) dice
o          1 leek (white part only), cut into 1/2in (1cm) dice
o          2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
o          1 large baking potato, about 7oz (200g), peeled and cut into 1/2in (1cm) dice
o          2/3 cup heavy cream a handful of fresh parsley (curly or flat-leaf), roughly chopped
o          sea salt and freshly milled white pepper

How to make TRADITIONAL NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER

           Clean the clams by soaking them in cold water for at least 20 minutes, or up to an hour.

           Meanwhile, make a beurre manié (butter and flour liaison). Soften 4 tbsp of the butter and mix in the flour to make a thick paste. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

           Drain the clams in a colander and rinse under cold water to check there’s no sand left in the shells. Discard any clams that are open or that do not close when tapped sharply on the countertop. Heat a wide saucepan over high heat until hot, add the clams and wine, and cover the pan tightly. Give the pan a shake, then take off the lid—some or all of the clams will be open. Remove the open ones with a slotted spoon and set aside. Put the lid on again, and continue until all the clams are out of the pan. (Discard any that stay closed.)

           When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells, reserving some in shells for garnishing. Pour the cooking liquid slowly through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, leaving the sediment behind in the bottom of the first pan. Mix the hot fish stock with the cooking liquid and set aside.

           If using fresh corn, blanch it in a small pan of salted boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and rinse under cold water.

           Heat the remaining butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, and garlic, and cook without coloring for a few minutes until they start to soften. Season with a little salt. Add the potato and cook for about 5 minutes until softened, then remove from the heat and stir in the shelled clams and corn. Set aside.

           Bring the fish stock to a boil. Whisk in the beurre manié in small pieces, then boil and whisk until thickened. Stir in the cream and bring back to a boil, then add the clams and vegetables and heat through gently for a minute or two. Season lightly, and finish by adding the clams in their shells and the parsley. Serve hot



Lagniappe Brasserie Clam Chowder

William A. Grambo, West Allis, requested the recipe for clam chowder served at Lagniappe Brasserie, 17001 W. Greenfield Ave., New Berlin.

He wrote: "All entrées were excellent, but the clam chowder was exceptional. I would appreciate it if the chef would consider sharing the recipe."
Andy Tenaglia, chef, sent the recipe, which he broke down in size for Journal Sentinel readers. He said the soup is served as a side dish with entrées, but it can also be served as a main dish.

Lagniappe Brasserie Clam Chowder
Make 8 to 10 main-dish servings
6 cups Fish Fumet (see recipe)
5 ounces applewood smoked bacon (or any deep smoky local product you prefer), diced
1 medium onion (about 6 ounces) and/or leek or shallot, diced small
2 ribs (about 4 ounces) celery, diced small
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried dill
½ cup flour
1 large russet potato (about 12 ounces), cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 pounds clams, minced
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Prepare Fish Fumet.
To make chowder: In large, heavy bottomed stockpot, cook bacon over medium heat until soft but not colored. Add onion and celery and sweat gently until tender. Add garlic, thyme and dill and sauté 30 seconds.
Add flour and cook to make a blond roux, 3 to 6 minutes over low heat until flour mixture pulls away from side of pan. (If you do not have much bacon fat in your pan, you may need to add additional bacon fat to cook flour.)
Slowly add stock (Fish Fumet) to flour mixture, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Mixture should be a medium thickness. If too thick, thin with a little milk.
Add potato and simmer 20 minutes or until tender and until any taste of flour has disappeared. Add clams and cream and simmer 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and both peppers.

Fish fumet:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ribs (about 4 ounces) celery, diced small
1 small onion (about 3 ounces), diced small
1 small leek (about 3 ounces; white part only), diced small
3 pounds fish bones (see note)
1 cup white wine
8 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fennel fronds (optional)
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
2 bay leaves

In a large stockpot, heat oil. Add vegetables and gently sweat about 5 minutes or until tender. Add bones and sweat 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until reduced by about half. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes. Strain and chill if not using immediately. You will need 6 cups stock to use to make clam chowder. Any remaining stock can be frozen.
Note: Use bones from white or light-colored fish. If you do not have bones on hand, ask your local fishmonger to save them for you.




No-Cream Clam Chowder

This recipe calls for 2% milk instead of heavy cream, and the starch from the potatoes takes care of the rest. Just two slices of smoked bacon adds flavor without all the extra fat.


We used just two slices of smoked bacon, which adds rich flavor without a lot of extra fat; corn and carrots provide fiber and nutrients. We substituted 2% milk for heavy cream--the starch from the potatoes makes the soup extra creamy.
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)
Ingredients
           4  dozen clams in shells, scrubbed
           2  slices smoked bacon, chopped
           2  carrots, chopped
           1  medium-size onion, chopped
           1  celery rib, with leaves, chopped
           1  (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
           1  large ear fresh corn, kernels removed, or 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
           3/4  pound  red potatoes, chopped
           1/4  teaspoon  salt
           1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
           1/2  teaspoon  dried thyme
           3  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
           3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
           2  tablespoons  chopped fresh Italian parsley

Preparation

1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a large skillet. Add clams, cover, and steam 5 to 7 minutes or until shells open; discard any that do not. Drain clams, reserving cooking liquid. Pour cooking liquid through a fine wire-mesh sieve into a bowl, and set aside.

2. Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp; drain on paper towels, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in saucepan.

3. Sauté carrots, onion, and celery in hot drippings over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add reserved clam cooking liquid, clam juice, and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

4. Meanwhile, shuck clams and coarsely chop the meat. Whisk together milk and flour in a small bowl; add to saucepan, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. (Do not boil.) Add bacon and clams, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or just until heated through. Stir in parsley.
Nutritional Information

Wharf divided on chowder samples



Association wants practice banned
By LANE WALLACE
Do samples of clam chowder attract business, or do they sully the reputation of Fisherman's Wharf when restaurant employees "bark" at passers-by?
That debate heated up last week when the Fisherman's Wharf Association voted 5-1 with one abstention to ask the city to ban sampling. Last year, the city, which owns the wharf, issued several citations for excessive "oral advertising."
Tom Gawel, general manager of Rappas at the end of the wharf, said it's not the sampling itself that he objects to, but what comes with it. He said he sees discarded sample containers on the wharf when he comes to work in the morning.
"There are a lot of guests who feel intimidation" from those offering samples, Gawel said. If samples were banned, he said, it would be "a lot more comfortable for the locals."
Rappas offers samples because "we're forced to. Everybody else does," Gawel said.
Chris Shake, owner of Old Fisherman's Grotto, supports sampling and said some of his competitors are jealous. Shake, whose family has been on the wharf for 50 years, said he offers samples "from opening to closing" and said it helps attract customers.
As for other restaurants, "if they think it cheapens the wharf, they don't have to do it."
Vince Liguori, owner of Liberty Fish Co., on Thursday said, "I'm for sampling, as long as it's done tastefully." Liguori offers samples, but people have to ask.
Dennis Joshi, owner of Crabby Jim's and part owner of Gilbert's, said he voted to send
the letter to the city but has had second thoughts and now favors sampling.
He said he's considering leaving the association board, saying the group should focus more on trying to bring more people to the wharf and putting on more events.
Rick Marvin, who manages leases for the city, said most complaints about the wharf regard oral advertising. "We call it barking," he said.
Controversy, Marvin said, "ebbs and flows."
After complaints surfaced last year, the city staff issued four or five citations for oral advertising, Marvin said, and that has seemed to help. Under city rules, those handing out samples can ask people who walk up to them if they want chowder, but they can't holler out to people a distance away.
Marvin cited an instance on the wharf "where I could hear it 15 feet away."
Most of the formal complaints come from other merchants, Marvin said, but he gets anecdotal evidence about the public response to the giveaways.
"It's like 50-50. Some like it and some feel intimidated," he said.
Marvin said he's waiting for a letter from the association about its vote, but what that letter will say hasn't been determined.
Mary Alice Fettis, president of the Wharf Association, said Friday that she plans to research the issue. Shake's attorney wrote to the association, saying the samples issue is beyond the scope of the group's by-laws.
But even if there is no letter, Marvin said, the city could take up the issue. He emphasized that no decisions have been made.

Legal Sea Foods clam chowder

4 quarts littleneck clams, to make about 1 2/3 cups cooked and chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup water


2 ounces salt pork, finely chopped

2 cups chopped onions

3 tablespoons flour

4 1/2 cups clam broth

3 cups fish stock

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, diced in 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups half-and-half or light cream

Oyster crackers, for serving, optional

Clean the clams well and place them in a large stock pot along with the garlic and water. Steam the clams, cooking over medium-high heat until just opened, about 6 to 10 minutes, depending upon their size. Drain and remove clams from shells, reserving the broth. Mince the clam flesh and set aside. Strain the clam broth into a bowl through coffee filters or a strainer lined with cheesecloth; reserve.

In a large, heavy pot on medium heat, cook the salt pork until crisp. Remove the cracklings with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain; set aside. Slowly cook the onions over medium-low heat in the rendered fat for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, or until cooked through but not browned. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the reserved clam broth, 4 1/2 cups clam broth and fish stock, whisking while adding to remove any flour lumps. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring. Add the potatoes, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the reserved clams, salt-pork cracklings and half-and-half. Heat the chowder until it is the temperature you prefer. Do not boil. Serve in large soup bowls with oyster crackers on the side.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving with half-and-half: 287 calories, 46% calories from fat, 15 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 43 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates, 14 g protein, 725 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

Per serving with light cream: 326 calories, 53% calories from fat, 19 g fat, g 10 saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 24 g carbohydrates, 14 g protein, 725 mg sodium, 2 g fiber




Legal Sea Foods clam chowder

4 quarts littleneck clams, to make about 1 2/3 cups cooked and chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup water


2 ounces salt pork, finely chopped

2 cups chopped onions

3 tablespoons flour

4 1/2 cups clam broth

3 cups fish stock

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, diced in 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups half-and-half or light cream

Oyster crackers, for serving, optional

Clean the clams well and place them in a large stock pot along with the garlic and water. Steam the clams, cooking over medium-high heat until just opened, about 6 to 10 minutes, depending upon their size. Drain and remove clams from shells, reserving the broth. Mince the clam flesh and set aside. Strain the clam broth into a bowl through coffee filters or a strainer lined with cheesecloth; reserve.

In a large, heavy pot on medium heat, cook the salt pork until crisp. Remove the cracklings with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain; set aside. Slowly cook the onions over medium-low heat in the rendered fat for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, or until cooked through but not browned. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the reserved clam broth, 4 1/2 cups clam broth and fish stock, whisking while adding to remove any flour lumps. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a boil, stirring. Add the potatoes, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the reserved clams, salt-pork cracklings and half-and-half. Heat the chowder until it is the temperature you prefer. Do not boil. Serve in large soup bowls with oyster crackers on the side.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving with half-and-half: 287 calories, 46% calories from fat, 15 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 43 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates, 14 g protein, 725 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

Per serving with light cream: 326 calories, 53% calories from fat, 19 g fat, g 10 saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 24 g carbohydrates, 14 g protein, 725 mg sodium, 2 g fiber