My mom makes this clam chowder every year around the holidays. You'll want to save it for special occasions, because it isn't great on the waistline, but wow, does that hot, creamy, buttery chowder taste good on a cold November or December night. Especially when Dave makes fresh, hot sourdough bread to go with it!
Holiday Clam Chowder (This makes a small batch, enough for 4 small bowls)
1 cup onion, finely diced 1 cup celery, finely diced 2 cups potatoes, peeled (optional) and finely diced 2 (6.5oz) cans minced clams Clam juice (optional) 3/4 cup butter 3/4 cup flour 1 quart half & half 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp pepper 2 -3 Tbsp of robust red wine (or more to taste)
Drain juice from clams and pour over vegetables in a sauce pan. Add enough clam juice or water to cover veggies. Simmer until barely tender. Drain vegetables. In a large soup pan, melt butter and flour and make a roux. Add half & half slowly, stirring. Heat and stir until thickened. Add vegetables, clams and vinegar. Serve hot. Sprinkle with cheese, green onions, and crumbled bacon (optional). My family likes to add a couple of dashes of aged pepper sauce (such as Tabasco) too.
Sourdough Bread (From King Arthur Flour)
Ingredients 1 cup sourdough starter 1 1/2 cups luke-warm water 2 1/4 tsp salt 1 Tbsp sugar 5 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
Pour the cup of starter into a large mixing bowl. Add the arm water and 3 cups of flour. Beat vigorously. Cover with plastic wrap and set it aside to rest at cool room temperature for 4 hours. Then refrigerate overnight, or for about 12 hours.
Add remaining ingredients, kneading to form a smooth, soft dough. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise till very puffy though not necessarily doubled, about 5 hours.
Divide the dough in half, and shape into two oval loaves. Place on a baking sheet, cover and let rise till doubled, about 2 - 3 hours.
Slash the tops of the loaves, and bake in a preheated 425ºF oven for 309 minutes or until golden brown. (Dave cooks the loaves on a preheated baking stone in the oven.)
This recipe is based on the Israeli dish shakshuka, but with a Mimsy twist: potatoes. Okay, so I was born way out there in Idaho and something about being born in the potato state makes me crave potatoes once in a while. This time they ended up in the shakshuka. I like 'em there!
Not-Really-Shakshuka with Potato 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1/2 a large sweet onion, chopped 2 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded 1 large potato, finely chopped (skin, okay) 5 - 6 fresh tomatoes, chopped (skin, okay) Few handfuls of fresh spinach 1 tsp cumin 1 Tbsp paprika Salt to taste Parsley leaves 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil. Add the potato and pepper and cook until the potato is tender (add a bit of broth if you need to). Add tomatoes, spinach and seasoning and cook until tomatoes are stewed. Top with eggs, cover and cook until yokes are just the way you like them. Top with parsley and feta cheese and serve hot.
I'm still pulling dozens of tomatoes off the vines before the late October frost kills them. I created this simple hot blender soup on a chilly day and it was delicious in a bowl, but I also found that after the leftovers were chilled in the fridge it made a great cold sauce for chips or warm sauce over burritos.
Spicy Tomato Zucchini Soup with Garlic & Jalapeno
Fill up your blender about 1/2 of the way with fresh tomatoes (no need to peel or seed them)
Add: 1 medium chopped and peeled zucchini 6 - 8 peeled whole fresh cloves of garlic 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and cut in large chunks 1/4 onion peeled and chopped Enough veggie broth to cover the veggies in the blender without spilling over Salt & Pepper to taste
Blend until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 8- 10 minutes. Serve hot.