Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Maine Clam Chowder

I haven't worked in the soup section of Cooking Down East for quite some time. I think because of all the rain these past two days I was drawn to it as I was flipping through the pages this morning. It is not a difficult soup recipe, and I love the fact that Marjorie seemed to have a lot to say with each step.

It's funny because some of her recipes are simple and to to the point. No stories, no extras. Just plain "this is how you do it" and move on to the next. But then there are these recipes that are mixed with stories and tales of "...back in the day, we used to do it this way..." You can tell which recipes Marjorie was passionate about or had a lot of experience making. I like the stories. They make for interesting reading and a unique cooking experience.

For Maine Clam Chowder the steps involve "trying out" salt pork, then cooking the onions, adding the potatoes and covering with water. Once the potatoes are soft add clams, milk and butter. It's that simple. Of course, season to your liking.

Marjorie's note with this recipe was that the recommendation had always been to let the chowder "ripen" in the refrigerator for several hours or even a day. However, by the time Marjorie was writing this cookbook, the recommended was to omit that step because of the use of homogenized milk. You don't want the chowder to separate and make anyone sick!

She also recommends serving the chowder with crackers, pilot crackers or blueberry muffins. Yum! We will be serving this delicious soup today with oyster crackers. It's the perfect day for soup. Come enjoy a cup or perhaps have a great big bowl for lunch!

Blue Elephant Cafe
12 Pepperell Square 
Saco, Maine 04072

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