Friday, June 29, 2012

Let's have some Chowda!

Well, by let's, I mean Mike and his parents.

Mike took his big monster "The Professional Chef" book with him when he went home for the week. He has been mulling through it and bookmarking pages and recipes he wants to try out. It's fun to watch him get all excited about food and wanting to make it.

Recently he has been going through the soup section of the book. There are some really amazing soup recipes in there. I hope to try the next one.

So he was making a good old fashioned clam chowder for his parents. He was the sous chef according to the text messages I received. His father was helping him out for dinner.

The first picture I received was of an improvised sachet.

So not being at home or not wanting to go spend money to buy a sachet or materials for one he was clever and created his own, mind you he's clever all the time.

He used a coffee filter and stapled it shut with the herbs and spices that were required for this recipe. I couldn't tell you what was inside, but as you can see he was reading about it in the 'great big book of cooking.' I would say this is an inexpensive and easy way to do this if you do not have the actual materials for a sachet. Staples and a coffee filter, something most people have lying around their kitchen. (staples in your junk drawer - we all have one I know all of you do to)

So then he started with the veggies, which I know he chopped up all nice and pretty.

He cooked them down so they would blend with the soup base and have great flavor.

This is the blonde roux before cream is added. Cream is added at the end.

At this point my mouth was already watering.

Soon he was talking of pretzel bread and brats to go with the chowder. He wasn't so sure about pretzel bread and brats but I soon received a text saying "You should make pretzel bread." So at that point it's safe to assume he enjoyed it and that pretzel bread is a new food we should incorporate into our dining habits.

So he grilled and cooked and made delicious food for his parents. Such a good son and man :) I must say that brat sandwich on pretzel bread looks pretty awesome. Going to have to make that at home sometime.

So here is the final clam chowder picture - well sort of, that fish looking blob in there is the sachet of herbs that was boiled with the stock/veggies/clams and cream to infuse the chowder with those flavors.

He said the chowder was good but needed more clams. Can there ever be too much meat in a soup? I don't think anyone ever stocks up a soup/chowder or bisque with enough meat. Think Campbell's chicken noodle soup. Where's the chicken!? You all know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm sure it wasn't that bad but next time he knows, more clams. Kind of like a lot of things - more meat would make this better.

So this weekend I don't think there will be a massive amount of cooking as we are spending Saturday with my grandmother (though she did make German potato salad - hers is the best) and we will be eating out. But maybe Sunday we will whip something up in my small kitchen where all the baking action happens. Then maybe we can bake in his kitchen. Spice things up haha! I do not have the recipe to this - however, it is in the book "The Professional Chef" by The Cuilinary Institute of America. Check it out at your local book store or even on Amazon. It's not cheap so you are going to have to use it to make it worth the money.

Till next time kids!