Friday, May 17, 2013

N is for: New England Clam Chowder Bites

Even though it's touristy, one of my favorite things in San Francisco is getting a sourdough bread bowl filled with piping hot clam chowder soup at Fisherman's Wharf. (Followed by Irish Coffees at the BV, but that's a story for another post).

And while the sourdough bread is very much San Francisco, the clam chowder is very much New England...and that's where the idea for these little morsels was formed.

Of course...this isn't a true bread bowl, as I used fillo (phyllo?) dough out of convenience, but they would make a great addition to your next party. I call them deconstructed, because it includes all the flavors of clam chowder, but not much broth fits in the cups. And if you are simply looking for a good clam chowder recipe...feel free to use this for that and ditch the cups altogether!



This is what I used for the cups...and I can't tell you how easy these make everything. You can of course make your own cups like I did for the spanakopita cups, but these will save you so much time if you can find them. Look in the freezer section of your grocery store.


Aside from the normal clam chowder ingredients, I went with creme fraiche over regular cream. Truth be told, this was because the cream I bought somehow never made it into my grocery bag and I had this in the fridge...BUT I really love what it added to the soup. Also, I prefer a more "brothy" soup (closer to Rhode Island style clam chowder), so I only used a little bit.


Set a strainer over a six-quart pot, pour clams into strainer, collecting juice into the pot. Pour the additional clam juice and white wine over the clams into the pot. (Use one bottle of clam juice if making the cups, use two if you're making regular soup). Reserve the clams for later. Bring the clam juice and white wine mixture to a simmer. (Feel free to drink the rest of the wine while you cook :))


In a separate six-quart pot over medium heat cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, and begins to crisp. Remove half and set aside on paper towels to drain. Add the onions and cook gently until the onions show color. Add the celery, garlic, and potatoes. Cook for another three minutes.


Optional (but strongly suggested) step: A little Sriracha. Because everything is better with Sriracha.


Pour the clam juice/wine mixture into the onion mixture. Add the potatoes and simmer gently for eight minutes, or until you have no resistance when stabbing a potato with a paring knife.  Add the reserved clams and continue to simmer for another two minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


While soup is simmering, bake fillo cups according to box directions. Allow to cool slightly.


Spoon soup "goodies" into filo cups and spoon a little broth over the top.

Garnish with remaining one teaspoon of parsley, reserved bacon bits and celery leaves. You'll want to serve these immediately, as the bowls will become soggy if they sit for too long. Perfect as a passed appetizer at a party! (OR...if you need them to sit out, you could allow guests to "dish up" their own bites). Enjoy!

Deconstructed Clam Chowder Bread Bowl Bites

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: saute appetizer side snack soup/stew bacon phyllo clam American

Ingredients
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams or 1 (10 ounce can)
  • 1 cup clam juice (increase to 2 cups if you are serving as soup instead of appetizer bites)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2-3 strip bacon, cut in small strips
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (also reserve some leaves for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Sriracha)
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (1 teaspoon reserved for garnish)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, ½ inch dice (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2-4 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Mini fillo dough cups
Instructions
  1. Set a strainer over a six-quart pot, pour clams into strainer, collecting juice into the pot. Pour the additional clam juice and white wine over the clams into the pot. Reserve the clams for later. Bring the clam juice and white wine mixture to a simmer.
  2. In a separate six-quart pot over medium heat cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, and begins to crisp. Remove half and set aside on paper towels to drain. Add the onions and cook gently until the onions show color. Add the celery, garlic, hot sauce, and parsley. Cook for another three minutes.
  3. Pour the clam juice/wine mixture into the onion mixture. Add the potatoes and simmer gently for eight minutes, or until you have no resistance when stabbing a potato with a paring knife. Add the reserved clams and continue to simmer for another two minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Bake fillo cups according to box directions. Allow to cool slightly.
  5. Spoon soup into filo cups and garnish with remaining one teaspoon of parsley, reserved bacon bits and celery leaves. Serve immediately!
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3 comments:

  1. As always, great stuff, Jaymee! Slowly getting into the NE style...with a West Coast twist.

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  2. Just tried this out and it was excellent. Thanks for all the great recipes. I bet you are LOVING cooking with a gas stove now. So much better aren't they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Arien! YES...it was a *requirement* when I was looking at rentals here.

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