November 18, 2007

Zarne That's Good Chowder!

I asked a friend of mine to give me a story for the blog because I’ve been uninspired lately. I’ve got a bunch of recipes typed up and pictures edited but I don’t seem to have any stories to go with them. This chowder, for example, has been floating around in my computer for a few weeks now. My friend asked me to write a post about foods that were small and easy to eat while playing an intense board game… such as Boggle. I know there are closet Boggle players out there, don’t even lie to me. If it’s not Boggle, it’s Scrabble, (or if you’re a Facebook fan, Scrabulous) or Pick Two or Crosswords or some other word game, I know I’m not the only one who likes word games. But I digress, the problem with getting hooked on one of these games is that it’s difficult to eat and play at the same time. This became increasingly evident a couple nights ago when I was over at another friend’s house where we were playing various board games and eating snacks. A correlation became clear between the amount of food being eaten and board game success. The more snacks you ate, the worse you played. For example, one player was convinced that he could play the word “zarne” because that was all he could come up with while devouring caramel popcorn and garlic parmesan chips. I requested that he use “zarne” in a sentence but he declined to do so because his mouth was full. Snack food was definitely his game playing downfall. You’re probably wondering how clam chowder factors into all of this, well, instead of writing a post about the best foods to eat while playing board games, I have a suggestion for the worst food to eat: soup. Soup is a bad idea. Things that require a spoon and can slosh are bad ideas. Clam chowder is not a good thing to make on board game night, but an excellent meal to make any other night of the week. And I happen to have a soft spot for anything by Michael Smith, so there you have it, my clam chowder post is finally up.

Maritime Clam Chowder (from Chef at Home by Michael Smith)

4 slices of chopped bacon

A chopped onion

2 chopped celery stalks

A generous splash of any white wine

A cup of heavy cream

A cup of milk

Two 5 oz cans of clam meat

A large unpeeled baking potato

2 bay leaves

3 or 4 sprigs of thyme

A 12 oz can of unsweetened evaporated milk

A sprinkle or two of salt and pepper

A handful of flat leaf parsley leaves

Toss the bacon into a heavy bottomed soup pot with a splash of water. Stir on medium high heat until it crisps nicely. Pour off most of the fat. Add another splash of water to loosen the flavourful bits on the bottom, then add the onion and celery. Saute them for a few minutes until they soften and smell great.

Add the white win, cream, milk and clams. Coarsely grate the potato with a standard box grater and add it along with the bay leaves and thyme. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down a notch or two and continue simmering until the grated potato softens, releasing its starches and thickening the chowder, about 20 minutes.

Add the evaporated milk and continue stirring until it’s heated through. Taste the chowder and season it well with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately with your favourite biscuits.

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K & S said...

mmm a nice way to warm up!

Manggy said...

Well, there are no game nights here but chowdah is always welcome! Even if it's never cold enough to eat it, haha :)

Lydia said...

Zarne, that soup looks delicious. I have a weakness for chowder, too -- although here in Rhode Island they call it chowdah!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I'm always looking for a good chowder recipe for the "chowderheads" at my house. Thanks! ;)

Danielle said...

I'm a Scrabble addict, I admit it!

Margaret said...

I've never eaten this before but it looks really good. Perhaps I should pop over to yours and try some?

Deborah said...

I don't even try to play Boggle, because my mom is the best player that I have ever met, and I get my butt kicked every time. But I do love clam chowder!!!

Quellia said...

We haven't had games night with friends for quite awhile, but you are right, snacks while playing never went over well.

Lis said...

Chili con zarne!!


I heart clam chowder.. this looks scrumptious. We haven't made any this year yet.. maybe we'll try this recipe for something new and delish.

Trivial Pursuit for me, baby. :D

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I adore clam chowder. We have it every Christmas Eve with crab. I'll have to try your recipe because it looks wonderful.

Inne said...

Seems like you found the perfect strategy for winning board games, Brilynn! Feed everyone with your wonderful food, they all get distracted and victory is yours :)

Annemarie said...

Great post, Brilynn. :) I'm the living example of both poor eating and poor game playing due to each other - tonight's dinner went cold as I played Facebook scrabble and couldn't muster more than 20 points per go! Sigh.

Tartelette said...

I don't have any clams but I have oysters left from an oyster roast, I bet that would be tasty too...except when playing Pictionary!

Dhanggit said...

can you send some over here..i need something to warm me up :-) we are having a bad (very bad ) weather here.;cold and rainy :-(

Elisabeth said...

This is one of the more amusing posts I've read in quite a while! I love your blog - and this chowder looks FABULOUS. I've been on the hunt for a good clam chowder recipe - I'll definitely be trying this one. Thanks!