2 sisters 2 cities

August 21, 2010

Nantucket Birthday Clam Chowder

The day before we left for our 10 day vacation in Nantucket, Husband M had his 30th birthday.  Since we were pretty busy packing and tying up loose ends before we left, we were only able to have a small celebration.  I made one of his favorite easy summer recipes…Martha Stewart Everyday’s Grilled Steak with tomatoes and scallions and a brownie from the farmer’s market.  His Aunt T had thrown him a big birthday party in Maine the weekend prior and I also had plans for a lobster bake while we in Nantucket.  His work also threw him a afternoon party with freshly baked cookies, so all in all, he had 4 birthday parties this year.

For the Nantucket lobster bake, we ordered pre-cooked lobsters and steamers from Sayle’s fish market.  Our little cottage did not have air-conditiong and the day of the party happened to the hottest day we were in Nantucket.  Thank goodness we bought pre-cooked lobsters…I can’t imagine how much hotter the place would have been if I had been cooking lobsters for hours.  They did a great job packing them and they stayed warm for quite awhile.

For a starter, I decided to make a batch of clam chowder.  We were having 10 people over in all and this recipe I put together made well over this amount (if served as an appetizer).  I used Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything No-Holds-Barred Clam Chowder recipe as the base and tweaked it based on a few other recipes I have made in the past.

Nantucket Birthday Clam Chowder

Serves 10+ as an appetizer

Ingredients:
-1/2 pound applewood smoked bacon (or similar high quality), chopped
-2 cups minced onions
-5 cups peeled and chopped baking potatoe
-4 tablespoons flour (I used wheat)
-2 teaspoons dried thyme
-7 five-ounce cans of clams
-4  eight-ounce bottles of clam juice
-S&P
-2 cups milk
-2 cups heavy cream
-2 tablespoons butter
-fresh chopped parsley
-oyster crackers

Directions:
Fry the bacon in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove the bacon with a with slotted spoon and put aside.  Cook the onion and potatoes in the bacon fat until the onion softens and is translucent (10-15 minutes).  While they are cooking, drain the canned clams and reserve the drained clam juice.  Add the flour and thyme to the onion and potatoes, and combine.  Add the 4 bottles of clam juice and the reserved clam juice from the cans.  Cook until the potatoes are tender (an additional 10-15 minutes).  At this point, I turned off the heat and put the lid on the pot to keep it warm until the guests arrived.

About 5 minutes before I was ready to serve the chowder, I added the salt, pepper, milk, and cream (put the milk and cream out for about 20-30 minutes to get to room temperature so it does not curdle when you add it).  Add the drained clams and bring to a low simmer.  Add the butter on top of the chowder- the clams will be finished cooking once the butter melts.  I served the chowder with the chopped parsley and oyster crackers on the side.

-m

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August 19, 2010

Back from ACK

Filed under: M's post, Vacation — Tags: , , — 2sisters2cities @ 2:50 pm

Photo courtesy of Kayak the Rockies via Creative Commons license

We apologize for the lack of posts lately, but Sister K and I have been spending the past few weeks getting ready for vacation, going on vacation, and recovering from vacation.  We spent last week soaking up the sun in Nantucket.

Husband M & I rented a small cottage in Madaket and invited Sister K and the other Sister M to come visit us for part of the week.  We had a great time of hitting up the beaches, going on walks, eating great meals, and napping!  I tried to cook a lot of the meals at our cottage, but we did get a chance to try out or revisit a number of restaurants in downtown Nantucket:

Brant Point Grill at The White Elephant
Black Eyed Susan’s
Cinco
Slip 14
Straight Wharf

I would have to say our best meals were at Black Eyed Susan’s and Straight Wharf.  To get into Black Eyed Susan’s however, you need to wait in a line starting at 5 to put your name on the reservation list for a 7:30 or 9:15 seating.  They also are BYOB, cash only, and do not have a/c.  We joked with our fellow line-mates that we were going to open Sunflower Sally’s across the street where there is plenty of booze, takes all credit cards, and the a/c is pumping 24/7!  Despite all the effort to get into the restaurant, it was well worth it!

Husband M had to briefly take a conference call and need Internet access for a few hours one day…he greatly appreciated the free wi-fi and cold beers at the Brant Point Grill bar area that day.

This weekend, I plan to spend some time catching up around the house (we’ve been traveling the past 3 weekends) and will be posting my special Nantucket birthday clam chowder recipe (especially for Aunt N!)  Check back soon!

-m

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