Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Clam Chowder with Cabbage & Dill

I’ve been wanting some clam chowder for awhile. The weather was finally cool enough the last few days to make it nice to have soup. This started with the idea of a low-carb chowder. Instead of using potatoes, you use cauliflower and a stick blender to make it thick and smooth. Well, it didn’t quite work that way but I liked what I wound up with even better.

The genesis of the recipe goes something like this… Hmm, I’m out of bacon but I have pre-cooked bacon in the fridge. I’ll sautee my onions in butter and bacon fat and then add the pre-cooked bacon with the celery. Add some chicken stock, whoops, that’s a bit much. Realize I didn’t have enough cauliflower but toss it in anyway. After smoothing it out with the stick blender, add the clams and cream, realize that there’s a LOT of broth and a buncha clams. Think about what else would go well in it… Realize that you have a fresh head of organic cabbage in the fridge and think it’s perfect. Throw in a whole bunch of fresh dill to finish it off.

So, that’s how I would up with this recipe. – Makes 6-7 quarts

2 TB butter

2 TB bacon fat and 1/2 cup pre-cooked bacon pieces (or chop up about six slices of bacon)

1 large onion finely chopped

6 ribs celery chopped

4 quarts of chicken stock

20 oz frozen cauliflower

2 cans minced clams

2 cans chopped clams

2 cans whole clams

1 jar clam juice

1 cup heavy cream (you can use less stock and more cream if you want)

1 head green cabbage

5-6 TB chopped, fresh dill

1/2 – 1 tsp white pepper

Garlic seasoning to taste (I use Vik’s Garlic Fix from the Spice & Tea Exchange)

Destructions… I mean instructions:

If you have fresh bacon, toss in into your pot and let the fat render out and the bacon gets crispy-ish. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the celery, chicken stock, cauliflower and garlic seasoning. Bring to a boil and cook until the cauliflower is very soft. Run the stick blender in the pot until the cauliflower is mostly smooth with a few chunks remaining. It will smooth out the bacon and celery too but the flavor is there. Add the clams, cream, cabbage and dill. Return to a boil and cook 5-10 minutes or just until the cabbage is tender. Add the white pepper and taste for seasoning.

I have to say, this was so good that Jene and I both had seconds. The combination of the different size clam pieces really made for a nice texture. Normally, I would have used a lot more cream to make a chowder but I got carried away with the stock. It was in the fridge and very thickly gelled so it kind of glopped into the pot lol. Since it was only an 8 qt stockpot I had to cut back on the cream. If you make this you’re welcome to change the ratio of stock to cream. The cabbage was an especially nice addition. It added a clean flavor without being heavy.

I’ll be really interested to hear what you think. 🙂

 

 

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Kris’s Braised Brisket

I was going to smoke this brisket but decided I wanted to do something where I could fix it and forget it. After reading several recipes for braised brisket, this is what I came up with. I don’t have any pictures because I forgot to take them lol. I actually made this a week ago. Really good stuff. It’s on the list of things to make again.

Recipe

1 4-6lb first cut brisket
3 TB olive oil
3 large onions, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs mixed mushrooms (i used white button cut in half and portobello cut into slices)
2 cups red wine
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 to 2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coarse grain mustard
2-4 cups beef or chicken stock
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place a roasting pan on the stove over two burners. Add oil and heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Place the brisket in the pan, fat side down and cook 3-5 minutes on each side, until brown spots start to form. Remove from pan and set aside on a large platter.

Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently until translucent. (Add a bit more oil if necessary) Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until liquid starts to release.

Add the red wine and let reduce by half. Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and 2 cups of stock. Stir well. Add the brisket back into the pan. Cover tightly with foil and cook for two hours.

At the two hour mark, turn the brisket. Then cook for another 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and starting to fall apart. Add more liquid as needed to make a gravy. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

When I pulled the brisket out of the oven I added about two cups more beef stock because while the onions, carrots and mushrooms weren’t dry, they weren’t gravyish either. The two cups of stock added just enough liquid to make them perfect for a sauce/gravy.

I served this over garlic mashed potatoes which were awesome.

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