Even though I am now officially a Floridian, I still have wicked cravings for New England Clam Chowder, or as we like to call it, chowda. This recipe is one of my very favorites because it is served in a bread bowl. The first time I made my chowder in a bread bowl was for a 4th of July party some years ago. After my friends and family oohed and aahed over the buttery, creamy, and savory dish, they then delighted in eating their chowder-seeped bowls. It was both fun and comical to watch. I miss those days. If you are intimidated by the thought of making bread bowls, don’t be. They are quite easy. I will explain how in my recipe below.
I am making this for my girl’s night in this Thursday. My Floridian girlfriends are sure to love this dish. Some have never even had New England clam chowder before, so it is sure to be a treat. I will be pairing my dish with some wonderful wines all under $20. But first I must consult with Ashley who is a wine expert at Wegman’s back home. So be sure to check back for the perfect wine pairings to compliment my dish. Update! Here is a link see my selection of the perfect wines to go with my New England clam chowder dish. Your guests will agree.
Bread Bowl Ingredients
Frozen Bread Loaf
Directions For Bread Bowl
Thaw the bread loaf. Cut 1 loaf into 4. Let it rise according to package instructions. Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake according to package instructions. Let cool. Cut off the top of each loaf and scoop out the center to make it into a bowl. Set aside.
4 slices of bacon, diced
1 stick of butter
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tbl of flour
1 10 oz can of Chicken of the Sea whole baby clams, drained and juice set aside
1/2 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube (Knore is my favorite)
2-3 russet potatoes, cubed (I like to keep the skin on)
sprig of rosemary, chopped
sprig of thyme, chopped
3 cups of half-and-half, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
Cook bacon and set aside.
In a large stock pot over medium-low heat melt butter. Add onions and cook until slightly translucent. Sprinkle in flour and stir creating a roué. Slowly stir in clam juice from canned clams, water, and bouillon. Add potatoes, rosemary, and thyme. Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Approximately 10 minutes. With a fork, break apart the potatoes. Slowly stir in half and half and clams. Cook until chowder is heated through. Be sure that you don’t bring it to a boil because you don’t want the half and half to curdle.
Ladle chowder into bread bowls, top with bacon and a sprig of rosemary or thyme for a garnish. Serves 4.
What wines would you pair with this dish? Leave your comments below. The Do Tell A Belle audience would love to hear them.