Friday, August 20, 2010

Eli's Maine Dinner

Ahhhhhh, Maine!  Vacationland, the way life should be!  I am so fortunate that my brother Eli and his girlfriend Ginny live in the beautiful state of Maine! Every time we visit, Eli makes a traditional Maine dish of some sort.  My favorite is his clam chowder!  The key to his clam chowder, is that he keeps it as rich and flavorful as possible.  If you want an awesome clam chowder, follow this recipe, and what ever you do, do not try to make this low fat!!!!  It takes a lot for me to get full, but one large dish of this, and the deal is done!  It is so rich and creamy, that it's almost like a seafood cloud in your mouth.  

Ginny, The Dadio, Eli, and me!

Clam Chowder
5 medium potatoes
1 white onion
3 celery stalks                                  
1 lb bacon
1/2 stick butter
1 cup flour (or there abouts)
3 lbs steamers (shells on) steam and take shells off...
6.5 oz clams with juice
1 bay leaf
32 oz heavy cream
1 cup white wine
clam juice (it comes in glass jar)
3 cups fresh lobster stalk (or seafood stalk)
1 tbl old bay seasoning (or more...flavor to taste)
dash of parsley, basil, thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Dice potatoes, celery, and onion into small pieces. Dice bacon into small cubes, and lightly brown in pan (not so it's crispy).  Add 1/2 stick of butter and melt (add s+p).  Add flour to make a rue with the butter and bacon, completely cook out the flavor of the flour (2-5 min).  You'll know when it's done when it browns (lightly) and it coats the spoon.  Add celery, and onion stir for 10-15 min.  Add lobster stalk, stir for 5 min then add potatoes.  Add, the rest of the ingredients and cook until the potatoes are fully cooked, around 20-30 min.

The key to this recipe is to be patience and to keep layering flavors!  My brother doesn't follow a recipe book, so he (like myself) adds what he thinks will go well together.  When in doubt taste it, and add what you think it needs more of.  And whatever you do DON'T use milk, or a light cream!

Steam in a large pot until red!  Serve with butter (and lemon)!!!!  Enjoy!!!!

Thanks Eli and Ginny for all the fun times and the greatest memories (and of course the food)!!
I love you both!
Mary Proulx

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