Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Clam Chowder and Biscuits

Last nights meal was inspired by the Food Network and the weather. It started out sunny but never got warm and was cloudy by mid afternoon. Whenever is cool and cloudy in the spring I think "chowder"!

But man can not live by chowder alone. Okay, he can but to balance the meal out I added a caesar salad with my homemade dressing leftover from Mother's day (it gets better as it sits for a day or two!) and chive biscuits.
Yup, I baked. These were easy, inspired by Chef Micheal Smith and tasty; in part due to the substitution of my frozen chive butter in place of plain butter. Note the green yummy bits. I can't believe how much they rose! I think from now on these biscuits will be a requirement for chowder. I grated in my frozen butter like Chef Micheal recommended but next time I'll use my food processor. I had butter everywhere.

I didn't have any potatoes on hand. I know, what kind of part Newfie am I not to have potatoes in the house!? Much to my surprise I didn't have evaporated milk either. Time to improvise. I did have gnocchi which are just little potato dumplings... So I took my basic chowder recipe and threw in the gnocchi in place of the potatoes. I let them simmer while I prepared and baked the biscuits, so about 25 minutes. They gave off a nice bit of starch to thicken the water. Which was really important since I was using plain skim milk. I don't know if you can really see how the soup is thickened but here it is pre milk and clams.

The gnocchi were an interesting substitution. It's wasn't the same chowder but it was a good one, nonetheless. It's always a fun challenge to get inspired to cook something for dinner and then try and create that inspiration out of what you have on hand! Good luck!

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