New England Clam Chowder

farmshare-chef-steamed-clams-new-england-clam-chowderI have lived in Boston for nearly 10 years now, and just like Lobster Rolls in the summer, this is one of those dishes that makes me love living in a place with truly distinct regional cuisine. New England Clam Chowder is particularly heart-warming on cold winter days, like today.  Chowder purists – of which there are many in these parts – may take offense to my addition of shrimp but to be honest I didn’t want to spend $30 on clams – so I used fewer clams and substituted some chopped shrimp for seafood flavor and texture. I took cues from a few different recipes, some used wine, others chose salt pork over bacon, and some used multiple types of potatoes.  This recipe makes the best use of what I had from my share as well as what I had on hand in my kitchen. If you’re calling me a heretic for the addition of shrimp and fennel, I feel you; I have those same strong feelings about chiles rellenos. For a really traditional chowder, skip the shrimp, substitute more onion for fennel, and double the amount of clams by weight, while keeping everything else the same. However, as a New England Clam Chowder lover I am a fan of this recipe – it’s not super thick, it is slightly unorthodox, but it is very, very tasty. Pass me a spoon and a Guinness and I will make it though the winter just fine.

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Roasted Cauliflower, Celeriac, and Parsnip Soup

There are few meal experiences I enjoy more than a steamy cup of comforting soup while I can hear the wind howling outside my window.  This week’s share offered a wonderful fall change up with a lot of new items.  I roasted some celeriac and parsnips along with a beautiful head of cauliflower, puréed then mixed with a quick vegetable stock made from some of the carrots, celeriac stalks, and onions in this weeks share.  All of this comes together to create a slightly sweet and earthy soup.  Topped with a little arugula and served with some lovely crusty bread makes the perfect cold weather lunch.

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