Recipe: New English clam chowder with puff pastry

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New English clam chowder with puff pastry and french garlic bread.

Ingredients:

• 4 cups of small Prince Edward Island potatoes, peeled and diced

• 1 1/2 cups celery, finely diced (reserve scraps for stock)

• 1 1/2 cups Spanish onion, finely diced (reserve scraps for stock)

• 1 tablespoon minced thyme

• 1 tablespoon canola oil

• 114g of unsalted butter

• 2 tablespoons ground salt pork

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 4 cups of whole milk

• 8 cups of clam stock (see recipe below)

• 3 cups freshly chopped cherrystone clams (about 36 clams)

• 473ml of heavy cream

• Kosher salt

• 1 bunch chopped flat parsley

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 4 cups oyster crackers or saltine crackers

Directions:

  1. Place potatoes in a medium-sized pot with 1 tablespoon salt and cold water. Place on high heat and cook potatoes until they are tender but have a small amount of bite left to them. Immediately strain and run under cold water when the potatoes are ready.
  2. In a sauté pan sweat celery, onions and thyme with canola oil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Do not allow to brown. When the vegetables are cooked but still retain their color, remove from heat.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot slowly melt butter. When butter is almost melted add ground salt pork. Render out salt pork with butter over low heat. Do not allow to brown. When salt pork is rendered with butter, add flour and whisk together. Whisk the mixture on low heat until it is well-incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add whole milk. Continue to whisk on medium-low heat. Gradually increase heat to medium. Bring mixture to a low simmer. Continue whisking occasionally. The mixture will begin to thicken. Continue to whisk less frequently, but do not allow mixture to stick to bottom of pot and burn.
  4. After about 15 minutes of low simmering and whisking, add Clam Stock to mixture. Whisk. Add celery and onion mixture to pot. Whisk. Add cooked potatoes and fresh chopped clams to pot. Stir with a spoon. Add heavy cream to pot and bring to a low simmer. After 10 minutes of low simmering, taste and season the chowder with kosher salt. Turn temperature down, leave in pot and serve. Garnish with a pinch of fresh chopped parsley and a few turns of cracked pepper. Crush oyster crackers into soup and eat. Serves 12.
(To prepare ahead of time, perform all steps up to adding potatoes. Chill and reserve soup. When ready to serve, heat up soup while stirring, then continue by adding potatoes and so on.)

Clam Stock:

• 10 cherrystone clams

• 9 cups of water

• Diced celery and onion scraps

In a medium-sized pot, place 10 washed and scrubbed cherrystone clams, 9 cups of water and reserved celery and onion scraps. Bring to a simmer until clams open. Take off heat and strain. Reserve. Serve with garlic bread.

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Recipe: Eggs Benedict

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Toasted English muffin topped with back bacon, poached egg and finished with freshly prepared Hollandaise sauce. Garnished with parsley.

Note: Makes 4 one-egg one-muffin servings of eggs benedict.

Ingredients:

  • 8 pieces of bacon or 4 pieces of Canadian bacon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar
  • 2 English muffins
  • Butter

Ingredients (Blender Hollandaise):

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne or Tabasco

Directions:

1. Start with the bacon. Heat a large skillet on medium low heat. Add the strips of bacon. Slowly fry, turning occasionally, until the bacon is browned on both sides, and if using strip bacon, much of the fat is rendered out (about 10 minutes). Use tongs or a fork to remove the bacon from the pan, set on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat. (Don’t pour the bacon fat left in the pan down the drain! Either sop it up with paper towels when it has cooled a bit, or pour it into a jar to be used later).

2. While the bacon is cooking, bring a large saucepan that is two thirds filled with water to a boil, then add the vinegar. Bring the water to a boil again, then lower the heat to a bare simmer.

3. Make the blender hollandaise. To make blender hollandaise, melt 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Put 3 egg yolks, a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender, blend on medium to medium high speed for 20-30 seconds, until eggs lighten in color. Turn blender down to lowest setting, slowly dribble in the hot melted butter, while continuing to blend. Taste for salt and acidity and add more salt or lemon juice to taste. Transfer it to a container you can use for pouring and set it on a warm, but not hot, place on or near the stovetop.

4. Poach the eggs. Essentially, working one egg at a time you crack an egg into a small bowl and slip it into the barely simmering water. Once it begins to solidify, you can slip in another egg, until you have all four cooking. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit for 4 minutes. (Remember which egg went in first, you’ll want to take it out first).

5. When it comes time to remove the eggs, gently lift out with a slotted spoon. Note that the timing is a little variable on the eggs, depending on the size of your pan, how much water, how many eggs, and how runny you like them. You might have to experiment a little with your set-up to figure out what you need to do to get the eggs exactly the way you like them.

6. As soon as all the eggs are in the poaching water, begin toasting your English muffins. If you can’t get all the muffins toasted by the time the eggs are ready, gently remove the eggs from the poaching water and set in a bowl.

7. To assemble the eggs benedict, butter one side of an English muffin. Top with two slices of bacon. You can trim the bacon to fit the muffin if you’d like. Put a poached egg on top of the bacon, then pour some hollandaise over. Sprinkle some parsley over it all and serve at once.