I love New England.
I sometimes (okay, maybe all the time) fantasize about the region's seafood.
Unfortunately, aside from the few shrimp shumai dumplings I inhaled during
hungover dim sum brunches in Boston's Chinatown,
I don't really have that much experience dining in
New England restaurants.
When I found out that we were spending a weekend on
an island in Maine, I was beyond excited to taste the
briny treasures New England had to offer.
The bad news was that the island did not have any
fish markets or seafood restaurants,
but was inhabited solely by lake houses
of all shapes and sizes.
The good news was that I was so taken by the picturesque landscape, crystal blue waters and warm and fuzzy sunsets, that I forgot about my mission to gorge on New England seafood until I was dizzy with crustacean delight.
Can you really blame me?
|Merman of Maine|
|This is what we MAINLY did in MAINE, hehe... get it? |
|Find the cook!|
|Warm and fuzzy sunsets|
Please don't fret.
I did have the opportunity to feast on amazing clam chowder at a wedding reception I attended while on the island.
It was as cozy as a vintage cashmere sweater.
When I returned home, I knew I had to replicate the dish...
with my own spin, of course!
I thought to myself, what can I do to contribute to an already perfect dish? After rummaging through my refrigerator for a couple of minutes, I found a plastic container of miso leftover from miso salmon night!
Meee Soooo Craazyyyy to add MEEESOOOO to CHOOWDDDAAAH???
Why, yes. I believe that I am.
|I am not a fan of celery, so I decided |
to use carrots instead!
The burst of sweet loveliness that
comes with this popular veggie will
balance the salty perfectly!
Par-don, lar-dons. Why are you so lovely?
|I didn't have any white wine to cook my clams in, |
but I found this lifesaver rolling around
in the back of my fridge!
|All you need for garlic croutons|
|My new obsession, green grapes in my salad|
|Warm and fuzzy, like a Maine sunset|
Adapted from Recipe from Food and Wine Magazine
serves 6 to 8
1 bottle of your favorite lager
4 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch matchsticks
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrot, finely diced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 cup of half-and-half
3 Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 stalks of scallions, thinly sliced
1. In a soup pot, bring lager and 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the clams, cover and cook over high heat until the clams open, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a bowl; discard any that do not open. Remove the clams from their shells and rinse to remove any sand, then coarsely chop them. Strain the broth into a heatproof bowl, stopping before you reach the sand at the bottom; you should have 3 cups.
2. Rinse out the pot and dry it. Add the butter and bacon and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and golden, about 6 minutes. Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrots, thyme and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the miso. Gradually add the clam broth. Add the half and half and 1 cup of water to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the potato cubes and season lightly with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for about 8 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
3. Using the back of a spoon, crush a few of the potatoes against the side of the pot to thicken the soup slightly. Add the reserved clams and simmer just until heated through. Discard the bay leaves. Serve the soup in bowls, top with sliced scallions.