Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Refined Gluttony Edition


I was planning to have this be another go at my Clam Chowder recipe, but when I was getting ready to make it, I realized that I had forgotten to get bacon! (Travesty!!!)  To help make up for this gaping hole in the flavor, I added some minced mushrooms and garlic to the onions in order to make a mirepoix to base the soup on...instead of that half a cup of wonderful bacon fat and trimmings.  One side effect to the lighter base was that, once I had finished making the soup, I realized that adding the cream necessary to make it a proper chowder (a tenuous claim already due to the lack of bacon) would ruin the flavor...so I left it plain.


Light Clam and Scallop Chowder

1 Medium Sweet Onion, finely chopped

1 Clove Garlic, minced

3 Mushrooms, finely minced

2 Bay Leaves

1 Tsp. Dried Thyme, crushed

Dash Ground White Pepper

2 Tbs. Butter

4 Medium Yellow Potatoes, ¼ inch Dice

1 Tbs. Bourbon

¾ Cup Dry Chardonnay

6 Cups Water

1 Cup Raw Scallops (cut up if large)

_oz Can Clams and Juice (I used Trader Joe’s Cherrystones)

Salt to taste

Sauté the onions, mushrooms and herbs in the butter until the onions are transparent, then add the potatoes and stir just until well blended. Deglaze the pan first with the bourbon, then immediately with the wine, (don’t breathe the steam- it will knock you flat!) stir briefly, then add the water.  Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.  Once the potatoes are done, add the scallops and the clams and juice, and continue to simmer until the scallops are just done, about 3-5 minutes.  Serve immediately with crusty bread.


...Of course, now I had two pints of heavy cream sitting around without a purpose...and strawberries!  Dessert, anyone?


Strawberries with Lime Custard and Crème Anglaise


Crème Anglaise

4 Egg Yolks

¼ Cup Sugar

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 ½ Cups Heavy Cream

Puncture the yolk sacs and drain the yolks into a mixing bowl, discarding the membranes.  Add the sugar to the yolks and beat with a mixer until very pale, then slowly beat in the vanilla and cream.  Cook over low to moderate heat in a double boiler, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the spoon.  Remove from heat, pour into a bowl and allow to cool, stirring occasionally- it will thicken further as it cools.


Lime Custard

4 Egg Whites

1/3 Cup Sugar

Juice of 4 Limes

Beat the egg and sugar together until well blended, then beat in the lime juice.  Cook over low to moderate heat in a double boiler, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the spoon.  It should be thicker than the Crème Anglaise.  Remove from heat, pour into a bowl and allow to cool, stirring occasionally.

While had strawberries with these, they would probably also be excellent with shortbread or angel food cake...


How about some pots to finish with?



Finally I have a use for copper red glaze in massive quantities...oxidize it so it looks like soda-fired oribe!



This piece has been my baby for the last few weeks- total clay weight is about 16 lbs, pre-carving, and it’s around 15 inches tall at bone dry (shrinkage is a killer!), and has fairly light, evenly balanced weight.  The biggest non-bowl pot I’ve ever thrown...and it just went boom in the bisque because it still had retained water in the bottom, even after two weeks of drying...ugh...my own darn fault for trying to rush it and have it done for Artists Against Aids.



I also threw and trimmed 20 small bowls this weekend for A. A. A. and glaze tests and carved some small boxes.

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