Friday, November 20, 2009

Rosie Makes An Oyster And Clam Chowder.

We still have a bag of oysters in the refrigerator in our utility room which we want to finish up. They were not as plump and big and as salty as I would like. So they're not really that good for frying or eating raw. But they are good for steaming and dipping into a butter and lemon sauce. We bought this bushel a few weeks ago in Columbia, NC, when we came back from our trip to the Western part of the state. We'd called our favorite seafood provider, Billy's Seafood, and they didn't have their oysters in yet. But Mr. Hawthorne was determined to have some oysters, so we slummed in Columbia. Billy's has oysters now, and we wanted to finish up the last of this bushel so we can get a new bushel of the plumper, saltier oysters. I was thinking of an oyster bisque, but I ended up with a clam and oyster chowder. Do you know the difference between a bisque and a chowder? What separates them is lumps. In traditional French cooking, a bisque is a thick, velvety smooth, shellfish soup in which the seafood has been pureed. A chowder is a lumpy stew,
generally made with seafood
and usually containing potatoes.
Feast your eyes on this:

First I rinsed the oysters very well.
And steamed them just until the shells barely opened.
Shucked each oyster.
And here are all my pretty little oysters.
Fixin's for my chowder: 3 stalks celery 2 potatoes 1 large onion
I made a neat dice of the potatoes and they, along with the bay leaf, went into about 1TB hot ELBOO (That's Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil.) and 1 TB LOLUB. (That Land O' Lakes Unsalted Butter.) I cooked the taters for about 10 minutes until just getting tender. Stir occasionally with spatula to scrape up any sticky bits. The starch from the potatoes will help thicken the chowder.
I chopped the celery and onions, added another tablespoon of butter and ...
... added them to the mix.
Simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
I added in 1/4 cup flour, stirring for about 1 minute to cook through.
51 ounce can of clams and clam juice.
Slowly add in the clams and their liquid, stirring gently, letting the mixture thicken.

Add in about 1 cup heavy cream.
Pour in the oysters and just heat through.
Every spoonful has a meaty bite to it.

I served this with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and tarragon, oyster crackers, grated nutmeg, freshly ground pepper, and paprika infused oil. And it was some kinda good. I loved the oceany goodness of the shellfish, the richness of the cream, the basic comfort of the veggies, the herbal brightness and pop of the greenery, the warmth of the nutmeg, and the spicy heat of the hot paprika infused oil. It was happy food.

Oyster And Clam Chowder

Wonderful oceany chowder with oysters and clams in every bite ...

See Oyster And Clam Chowder on Key Ingredient.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just drooled on my keyboard.
Oh, and I did finally get to try Striper's lobster bisque, and although it was very tasty, it wasn't as good as yours, and Glowria & I both agreed that there was too much butter in it.