From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This hearty chowder is easy to make but it is expensive to prepare. That being said, if you can afford it, this is one-pot cooking at its finest and I make it a point to serve it at least once each summer. The chowder is traditionally made with salt cod, though any firm fresh fish can be substituted if you don't want to be bothered with soaking the salted variety. While I have my clams shucked at the fish market, the job can be easily done at home if you put the clams in the freezer and chill them until their hinge muscles relax. If you happen to have a fennel bulb in your fridge, by all means slice and cook it along with the onions. It makes a wonderful addition to the chowder. Another addition, not included in the recipe, is a cup or two of small shrimp or bay scallops. Because I serve this so infrequently, I tend to go all out when I make it and my chowder is light on potatoes and heavy on seafood. I like to serve it with a green salad and crusty bread and I've found the combination to be substantial enough to serve for guests. Here is how it is made.
Portuguese Clam Chowder...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspiredby Emeril LaGasse
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 to 8 ounces linguica, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
3 stalks celery, finely diced
2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1-1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 dozen cherrystone clams, shucked, in their liquid
1/2 pound fresh cod or salt cod, soaked, rinsed and diced
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large pan. When oil shimmers, add linguica and cook until it begins to render fat, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions and celery and continue to cook until vegetables wilt, about 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes and garlic, saute for 2 minutes. Stir in potatoes, reserved clam liquid and salt cod. Add chicken stock and white wine. Season with salt and pepper. Bring liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add clams and parsley, cover, and continue simmering for 3 minutes. Ladle the chowder in a shallow bowl. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
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