In 10 easy Steps
A hot satisfying meal that can be made in half an hour with minimal supplies.
8 large potatoes-cubed (9-10 cups @1/4 - 1/2 inch)
3 or 4 cups of crab meat (fresh or frozen)
(1) 12 oz. can of canned milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cube of butter/marg. or 1/8 cup oil
1 medium onion diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tsp. garlic (shredded, minced or pressed)
1 TABLESPOON of chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste (approx. 2 tsp. ea.)
1 cup of chopped bacon (crisped)
Chopped carrots or celery (cook until soft prior to adding)
Mussels in addition to crab-they are quite chewy so I use no more than a cup.
Cooked clams of any kind--chopped if they are large--steamers are delightful.
Cooked rock fish or any kind of white/mild flavored fish leftovers. It only thickens the project.
Note:This recipe can be completed without the fresh garlic, onion or celery. Just have some garlic and onion seasonings on hand. It will also turn out just fine without the canned milk, but this ingredient gives the chowder a rich flavor. Sometimes I use two cans of canned milk and less whole milk. The seasonings are really what makes it work. Have Fun!
Approximately 10 cups of diced potatoes!
(see below for tips on how to dice your spud)
* * *
In case you're wonderin'....
First--slice the potato into several sections, remove one side and lay flat.
Second--make a few more cuts, turning your potato into sticks.
From here, then chop the sticks into cubes.
The Short Version
Once the above items are in the pan, begin washing and cutting up the potatoes. Because potato peelings are good for you, sometimes I leave the peels on if they are tender. Once the veggies have lost their "crunch," begin adding the potatoes. I do this gradually since I have only started preparing the potatoes.
When all the potatoes are in the pot, add just enough water to the pan so there is 1-2 inches of water over the potatoes. If you are prone to forgetting stuff on the stove, or if you are on the phone, add plenty of water--it's better than burning them!
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer uncovered until potatoes are soft--usually about 15-20 minutes. You want the potatos to be soft/mushy so that the flavors of your chowder can begin to blend throughout. (There will be no more serious 'cooking' after this point, so make sure the potatoes are done.)
If there is a lot of water visible, scoop it out. This is not something to be a perfectionist about. The point is: you don't want your soup to be thin. Your goal is a to end up with a thick, creamy chowder....so the more water....the thinner it will be.
Throw in some chili powder/salt and pepper. Stir well and taste. The chili powder will not be obvious to your taste buds at first but once it sets in, it will add a lot of body and quite a bit of warmth on a cold day. In the past, I never used to use chili powder, but after trying it once, I'll never make chowder without it again. (It will add a tinge of red to your recipe.)
Add 2 cups of milk (or enough milk to cover potato/vegetable stock just barely. Warm the milk but do not bring to a boil! (Scalded milk is not pretty, although it doesn't ruin the flavor.) Get off the phone at this point so you don't take a chance of ruining all of your hard work.
Your chowder should almost be too thick at this stage because you still need to add the canned milk. If the chowder is too thin, micrwave a couple of large potatoes. I scoop out the cooked spud and toss it into the mix. Then add more salt and seasonings. Or...if you'd rather, you can also mix milk and flour in a small bowl (fork or whisk) until it makes an even paste. One way to do this is: remove a cup of thin chowder and add to this paste. Once it is blended, I add back to the main pot. Adding thick paste to a hot chowder will make clumps...just so you know. Once you bring it up to temperature again, remember to stir it plenty so the paste will blend and then thicken the entire recipe.
If you are having toasted muffins, start cooking them now!
LAST....add crabmeat and canned milk. Warm but DO NOT BOIL!
Taste again for flavorings. I usually add a final dose of seasonings at this point.
Even though the chowder is ready to consume...it actually tastes better after it has set for an hour. By the next day, the blend of flavors are actually out of this world.