Clam and Scallop Chowder

Memories of our time in Boston when we enjoyed Clam Chowder and other delicious seafood …reviewed here Legal Seafood

The weather in Sydney and the purchase of a bag of Cloudy Bay Clams from St Peter’s Fish Butchery in Oxford St inspired me to try to recreate it at home. Not all seafood outlets sell clams in Sydney so you might need to shop around to get them. (Subject to lockdown orders of course!)

After trawling the internet for clam chowder recipes, I cobbled together a few ideas into this recipe which turned out to be delicious.

Watch out because it is more filling than you would expect with just clams, scallops and 1 potato. You won’t need much more than a small bowl, a salad and maybe a crispy bread roll. Leftovers the next day were good though! Recipe would be fine for starters for 3-4 people.

You can’t really go wrong with the combo of cream, white wine, butter and seafood!!

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 600g clam/Vongole in shells
  • 250g scallops chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 leek finely diced (white part only)
  • 1 stick celery finely diced
  • 1 bacon bone (ask butcher)
  • 4 slices bacon, rind removed and finely chopped
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 medium size waxy potato finely diced
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • black pepper
  • 2 cups of cream!
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Method

1. Put clams in large pot, add bacon bone, cover with water bring to boiled, then lower heat and put lid on for 10 minutes or so until clams open.

2. Meanwhile dice all ingredients and keep separately aside. the smaller you dice everything the more “delicate” the end product will be!

3. Remove bacon bone. Strain clams from stock through doubled up paper towel, reserving stock for chowder.

4. Allow clams to cool. Reserve Clam stock.

5. Rinse pot, add bacon and fry until fat renders and bacon is crisped but not brown. Add butter, diced leeks and diced celery. Cook slowly for 5 minutes until leek and celery soften, stirring to stop the mixture sticking.

6. Add potatoes, add the bacon bone back in, mix through, then add white wine to deglaze pan and allow to bubble away for 5 minutes until wine is reduced to about half, making sure potatoes don’t stick.

7. Add 2-3 cups of the clam stock to just cover potatoes, also the thyme and bay leaves and cover, simmering for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are cooked and tender. Add additional clam stock if required.

8. Remove clam meat from shells while mixture is simmering, throw away any unopened clams. Finely dice clam meat. Dice scallops if you haven’t done so as yet.

9. Remove bacon bone. Add clam meat and scallops to mixture, add cream and simmer for 5 minutes until mixture is well heated through. Fish out thyme and bay leaves.

10. Garnish with pepper and chopped parsley and serve.

Oriental Prawn Rice Pilaf

I’m not sure where this name came from but it has been in the family for many years. It is really a light rice pilaf dish. With mild Indian flavours, only a slight kick of chilli and the sweetness of the prawns, peas, carrots, it is an unusual but delicious combination.

Oriental Prawn Rice Pilaf

It’s a lovely accompaniment to grilled fish, like Spicy Salmon Fillets, or a meal in itself with a tangy Cucumber and Yoghurt Raita.

Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes Resting time: 15 minutes

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 500g green prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 1.5 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 medium carrot diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 5 medium size mushrooms diced into small pieces
  • 2 large onions sliced into thin rings
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder or masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 stick of cinnamon bark
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • handful of fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger(1/2 a fingers worth) and garlic (3 cloves)crushed
  • 2-4 green chillies chopped in large pieces (thirds)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter for frying prawns
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying onions

METHOD:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

2. Shell and devein prawns, I cut them in half if they are too large, then marinate prawns with chilli powder/masala.

3. Parboil rice with 5 cups of water with salt until half cooked about 8-10 minutes (stain par boiled rice and set aside…don’t forget it on the stove, while doing other prep, and overcook the rice!)

4. Dice carrots and mushrooms while rice is cooking. (check the rice and strain) Then par-cook the carrots covered with water in the microwave for 2 minutes on high.

5. Heat butter and 1/2 oil in a large casserole dish over medium heat , fry prawns in batches for 2-3 minutes until just sealed, do not cook them through as they will cook in the oven. Remove prawns, draining from oil and place aside.

Fry prawns in small batches for a few minutes only.

6. Add additional oil to leftover pot and add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, curry leaves and heat gently. Add onions and cook gently until transparent.

7. Add cumin powder, turmeric, green chillies, ginger and garlic to opinion mixture and mix through onion mixture, stirring for 2–3 minutes.

8. Remove the pot from heat, then remove the onion mixture from the oil. (This seems illogical as you add them back in later, but it has something to do with the interaction between the parboiled rice and the oil that does make a difference to the finished dish)

9. Add rice, mushrooms, drained carrots, peas and mix evenly, coating mixture in the leftover oil/butter in the pot. Then add prawns and onion mixture and gently mix through again.

10. Drizzle a cup of water over the whole dish and place in oven for 45 minutes. Leave it to sit in the pot to rest for 15 minutes or longer before serving.

Oriental Prawn Rice Pilaf with Grilled Salmon and Tarka Dhal

Three Chilli Seafood Curry

The combination of dried chillies, whole red chillies and chilli powder makes this curry sound fiercely hot, but it’s not unless you eat the while chillies.

It’s actually a great way to cater for all levels of spice lovers, because the curry itself is quite mild – but the chillies are there for the hot heads as well who want to eat them!

A quick and easy mixed seafood curry to spice up your weeknight dinner line up.

You do need a well stocked Indian Spice cupboard though so check the ingredients..although the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves are optional, but they an extra layer of add deliciousness if you have them.

Ingredients:

  • 200g flathead or white fish fillets cut into pieces
  • 100g squid rings
  • 6 medium size green prawns
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 4 dried chillies left whole
  • 2 red chillies stem cut off but left whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds(optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Handful of curry leaves(optional)
  • 1.5 tablespoons tamarind pulp or 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • 100g plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Coriander and diced red onion for garnish

Method:

1. Heat oil in heavy based saucepan with lid.

2. Add fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds if using, dried chillies and heat through until just fragrant. Be careful not to burn.

3. Add onions , red chillies and curry leaves and cook gently until onions are translucent.

4. Add ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric and cumin powder and mix through until fragrant.

5. Add seafood, scatter over salt, and mix through to cover in spices. Add tamarind pulp, yoghurt and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer.

6. Simmer gently with lid on for 8-10 minutes or until fish is just cooked through.

7. Check that tamarind has disintegrated and remove any chunks if necessary.

8. Garnish with coriander and diced red onion and serve with plain rice and a cucumber raaita.

Counting ourselves lucky: lunch at #Abacus #Prahan #melbourne

First plane trip in more than 12 months today, travelling from Sydney to Melbourne. Masked up all the way but that was a minor inconvenience considering how lucky we are to be able to travel to (most places) within Australia (at the moment).

Got a warm welcome at the Como MGallery Hotel #comomgallery before heading down Chapel St until we spotted Abacus and headed in for lunch. Had read about the all day dining in #broadsheet and the food certainly rates a mention. Here’s a link to their lengthier review https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/south-yarra/cafes/abacus

The Ballarat breakfast featuring Toulouse sausage and pig cheeks from a special butcher in Ballarat was accompanied by a beautifully poached egg.

All day brunch, as well as a short but good main section featuring octopus, fish of the day and steak. Exactly the type of good cafe lunch we were seeking.

Steak with chimchurri
Prahan mural cnr Chapel amd Elizabeth St’s

With cool vibes, lots of indoor greenery and large windows opening out onto the Chapel st sights and sounds(bit more subdued than normal but still buzzy) Abacus is a great stop during Prahan shopping or as a destination cafe!

Abacus
Abacus greenery

#Mustard #parmesan and #rosemary encrusted rack of #lamb

This was a delicious quick dinner tonight. This like a crumbed roast with no carbs. The addition of a bit of beaten egg to the coating mixture makes sure the lamb has a lovely parmesan, mustard and rosemary “crust.” Quick and easy dinner any night of the week or looks impressive for dinner part.Great with a nice salad or add roast potato or chips if you like.

Prep time: 10 minutes cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 rack of lamb (5-6 cutlets)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon or mild English mustard
  • Handful of fresh Rosemary leaves stripped from stem
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove crushed or minced
  • Salt and black pepper

Method:

1. Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius

2. Heat non-stick saucepan on stovetop, sprinkle rack of lamb with salt and crushed black pepper and drizzle with olive oil

3. Brown lamb on all sides in pan, until nice brown colour achieved

4. Line baking pan with baking paper.

5. Place lamb rack on baking pan.

6. Mix mustard, rosemary leaves and 4 tablespoons of the beaten egg.

7. Smear mustard mixture thickly on all exposed part of the lamb rack.

8 sprinkle with half the parmesan.

9. Cook in oven for 20 minutes.

10.remove from oven, a sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan, then return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes.

11. Check that meat is done to your liking with a meat thermometer 71 degrees for medium rare is how we like it.

12. Remove lamb from oven, allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.

13. Serve with salad and roast potatoes or chips.

Free-spirited #Profiteroles

Made these a few weeks ago for a lunch party….reminded me how it actually is easy to make Choux pastry with only a bit of attention to quantities. Going to now think about making some new savoury and sweet recipes with it. Stay tuned!

Free-spirited Profiteroles!