No one is certain of the origins of chowder but reasonable supposition suggests that French fishermen working the waters off Newfoundland and Nova Scotia beginning in the 16th century may have brought along their tradition of “faire la chaudière” which is to create a community dish by providing a cauldron in which locals might contribute fish, biscuits and savory condiments. Having supplied the fish, the fishermen would have been entitled to a good portion of the feast. Whatever the origin, chowders have developed into some of the most scrumptious fare offered up in New England.
This month, we’re sharing an assortment of recipes for three chowders from the award-winning galley chefs of the Maine Windjammer Association. Whether you prefer lobster, corn or fish, these variations on the traditional New England Clam Chowder are sure to please!
||credit: Courtesy Angelique
1 ¼ pound potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 ½ pounds fish (haddock, pollack, and/or scrod)
3 slices bacon, sliced in small pieces
½ pound onion
1 jar Atlantic clam juice
dash Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 bay leaves
dill, basil, black pepper – to taste
1/8 pound scallops
½ cup heavy cream
½ can evaporated milk
½ cup sour cream
1 quart +/- milk
NOTE: You can make many substitutions and combinations of dairy. You can use plain milk and less cream or sour cream if you do not want it to be so rich. I have also made this chowder with non-dairy cream and it was fine.
Peel and chop potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a separate pot. Cover with water and parboil until almost tender. Drain. Take ¼ of total amount and mash with a little milk (this will thicken the chowder).
In a large stockpot, cut bacon on the diagonal into small pieces and brown. Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Add Atlantic clam juice and spices. If you need more liquid add a small amount of water. Add scallops and let cook for a few minutes. Add fish and cook until fish is white and flaky. Turn down heat or move to cooler place on stove top or use trivet. Let soup cool a little before adding evaporated milk, heavy cream, sour cream and milk. Add potatoes and mashed potatoes. Bring soup back up to serving temperature.
1 – 2 pound lobster
1 ½ cups diced potatoes
2 T butter
1 small minced onion
2 T flour
4 cups scalded milk
salt and pepper
Boil lobster (15 minutes), drain and cool. Remove meat from shell (reserve tomalley) and cut into small pieces. Cover shells and remaining body with cold water and simmer 15 minutes for stock. Strain and add potatoes and cook until tender. In a saucepan, sauté onions then blend in lobster tomalley and flour. Pour milk in gradually, stirring until thickened. Add lobster meat, potatoes, stock and seasoning. Simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.