Thursday, September 5, 2013

Seafood! Part 2

No seafood menu would be complete without a good clam chowder. It's great for an appetizer, a complement for salad or hearty comfort food. Whatever the meal, it's definitely a classic.

Classic Clam Chowder
1 quart half-and-half cream
2 10-oz cans minced clams
4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup onion, chopped
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
½ tsp white sugar
½ tsp ground black pepper

Put garlic, onion and water in a blender and blend until you have a smooth paste. Then, drain the clams but preserve the juice. In a large pot, add the onion mixture, potatoes, celery, salt, pepper and the juice from the clams. Add just enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Now, stir in the sugar and half-and-half. Mix together the butter and flour and whisk into the soup. Cook until thickened, stirring often. Add the clams and any other seasonings you want. Serve.

If you can't decide which type of seafood you want, here's a recipe for a low-country seafood boil that has several types in one pot. My stepsister makes a version of this, only she uses crab in place of lobster.

Seafood Boil
Two 1 ½-pound lobsters
12 fresh clams
1 pound jumbo shrimp, in the shell
8 small red potatoes
6 lemons, halved
5 whole, unpeeled cloves garlic
4 medium artichokes
2 unpeeled onions, ends removed
1 cup dry wine
½ cup sea salt
¼ cup fennel seeds
1 3-oz box crab boil spice (Zatarain's makes a good one)
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp red pepper flakes

Fill a large pot with 6 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the artichokes, bay leaves, fennel seeds, boil seasoning, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, lemons, coriander seeds and a generous portion of salt. Cover and boil for 10 minutes. Then, add the onions and potatoes, reduce heat and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Then, add the wine and garlic. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Move the potatoes onto a platter and continue for another 15 minutes or until the onions and artichokes are tender.

Then, add the lobsters and cook for 3 minutes or until they turn pink. Add clams, wait 30 seconds, add shrimp and cook for 5 more minutes or until shrimp is pink and clams are open. Cut onions and artichokes in half. Now, remove everything and put them on platters to serve.

The purpose is for all of the vegetables to soak up the taste of the seafood. Some people also add mini corn-on-the-cob.

I know that was a lot of recipes, but there are so many ways to make seafood that it can be difficult to choose!

As for dessert-
Japan makes several flavors of fish-flavored ice cream, but I couldn't find a recipe. Oh well.


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