Since Joey is stuck in Florida I am stepping up with another post this week, complete with recipe and a voting request, of course! I have entered this recipe in the New England Country Soup “Ours vs. Yours” Challenge. The object of the contest is to create a soup using some of the basic ingredients of the New England Country Soup (in this case, milk/cream, clams and potatoes) and if I make it to the cook off, judges will compare my soup to the New England Country Soup Clam Chowder for taste and nutritional value.
So, in order to get to the cook off, I need some easy clicks to vote please–and here’s the link: http://www.soupchallenge.com/view_recipe.php?entry_id=35
You can vote daily through February 13th and there is no registration/information sharing necessary–I appreciate the support!
And here’s the recipe for you:
New England Clam and Seafood Chowder with Handmade Oyster Crackers
6 ounces finely diced salt pork
1 cup water plus more for boiling potatoes
3 pounds steamer clams
3 pounds diced skin on potatoes
2 cups diced sweet onion
1/4 cup salted butter
3/4 cup all purpose flour
8 cups clam broth
1 pound sea scallops cleaned and cut in to bite size pieces
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
1 pound cod fillet, cut in to bite size pieces
1 pound chopped sea clams in liquid
6 cups whole milk
1-12 oz can evaporated milk
1 pound cooked lobster meat, cut in to bite sized pieces
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
In a heavy bottomed large pot or Dutch oven, render salt pork over medium low heat. Remove crispy bits with a slotted spoon, allowing drippings to remain in the pan. Add diced onions and butter and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. When onions are cooked, stir in flour to make a roux. Cook and stir until flour turns light brown.
Boil potatoes in another pot until fork tender. Drain and set aside.
In the meantime add one cup water to another large pan and steam clams, covered, until open over medium high heat. When cool enough to touch, shuck the clams, clean and rinse in the water they were steamed in. Set clams aside and strain broth through cheesecloth to filter out and grit and rinse the pan if necessary.
Add clam broth to filtered clam steaming water and bring to a simmer. Add the scallops to the simmering broth and cook until just firm. Remove from broth with a slotted spoon and set aside. Repeat procedure with shrimp and cod and set aside. Slowly whisk in hot cooking liquid into the roux and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in chopped clams and their liquid.
Stir in milk and evaporated milk and cooked lobster meat. Add the cooked potatoes, steamers, shrimp, scallops and fish to the pan and slowly heat to serving temperature. Season to taste with salt and stir in the white pepper. If desired, finely chop cooked pieces of reserved salt pork and sprinkle it over individual servings of the chowder.
Serve topped with handmade oyster crackers and enjoy!
Homemade Oyster Crackers
2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
½ teaspoon sugar
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling if desired
1/2 cup cold butter, cut in to cubes
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine yeast, water and sugar. Stir to combine and set aside until mixture is frothy and yeast is activated.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt. Process for one minute to mix and aerate. Add butter and pulse until small crumbs form. With processor running, pour yeast mixture through feed tube. Process until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead in a little addition flour if dough is sticky. Roll out the dough as thin as possible into a rectangle. Fold in the long sides of the dough to the center and repeat with the ends to form a smaller rectangle. Roll out thin again and repeat this procedure two more times. Roll out one final time to a 9” x 11” rectangle.
Brush top of dough very lightly with milk and sprinkle very lightly with additional salt if desired. With a pastry cutter, cookie cutter or knife, cut crackers in to ½” – 1” squares or shapes as desired. Place crackers on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Slide parchment off of baking sheet and allow to cool. Serve with seafood chowder. These can be made days ahead if necessary as they keep well stored at room temperature in an airtight container.