Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meal Rotation System: Chowder Day

This is Day 3 of the Meal Rotation System: a pattern of meal planning where you go down a list of meal groups each month, picking one from the group for each day, and rotate through the list when you're finished. Read more about how the Meal Rotation System works.

Today is dedicated to rich, creamy soups. I have three that I make: Clam Chowder, Chicken and Dumplings, and Ham and Cauliflower Soup. They're good with bread or cornbread on the side. All of these soups make a lot, but you can easily freeze leftovers.

Clam Chowder

6 or 7 potatoes
5 or 6 planks of celery
1 onion
3 6 ½ oz can clams
1 bottle clam juice
½ tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt

¾ cup butter
¾ cup flour
1 qt. half & half

White pepper
Black pepper

  1. Cut up potatoes and celery.
  2. Drain clam juice into veggie mix. Set clams aside for later.
  3. Add the sugar and salt to mix and enough water to just cover the veggies (too much water will make your soup runny).
  4. Bring to boil then simmer until veggies are soft. Do not overcook or your soup will taste like potato.
  5. To make the rue, melt butter in a pan then add the flour. Stir constantly to prevent burning and heat for a minute or less. Don't let it turn brown.
  6. Add half and half, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil.
  7. Add white sauce to the veggie mix. If the soup is too runny, add more flour until it thickens up.
  8. Add clams, simmer until clams are nice and hot.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
Cauliflower and Ham Chowder
  1 cup thinly sliced celery
  2 cups sliced fresh or frozen cauliflower
  1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
  1 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk
  1 can (10-3/4 oz.) cream of potato soup, undiluted 
  1/4 cup water
  2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  1/8 tsp. white pepper
  2 cups diced cooked ham
  1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a large covered saucepan, cook celery and cauliflower in chicken broth until almost tender, about 10 minutes; do not drain.  Set aside.  
  2. Place potato soup in a bowl; gradually stir in half-and-half. 
  3. Blend water, cornstarch and pepper.  Stir into soup mixture; add to cauliflower.  Stir in ham.  Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.  
  4. Just before serving, stir in cheese.
Chicken and Dumplings

4 chicken thighs, with bone and skin
1 can Pilsbury biscuits

  1. Place chicken thighs in large pot, cover with water. (They can be frozen or thawed.) Sprinkle with salt and bring to a boil.
  2. When chicken thighs are thawed and the skin is cooked, remove from pan. Remove skin and cut meat into chunks. Place meat back in water and boil until meat is finished cooking. 
  3. Cut biscuits into chunks, add to water. Boil biscuits until they are chewy and no longer doughy.
Do you have any chowder recipes you'd like to share? I'd love to see them in the comments!


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