Recipe contributed to the Chefs and Cooks on the Internet Mailing List by Donald Souza <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Ingredient quantities are vague; he assumes the readers of the recipe are professional chefs. Use this as a challenge.
"I learned this recipe from an old chef in New Bedford, Massachusetts 20 years ago; he has since passed on. Hope you all like it.Fresh quahogs must be used (use bulls, 5-8" in size-fuller taste). Scrub and steam in perforated pan until just opened (do not overcook -- the bellies should still be almost raw.). Save juice (strain through cheesecloth).
"I'll give the preparation and ingredients. I am sure everyone can figure the amounts."
Grind quahogs. Remove two side muscles per quahog before grinding. Use meat grinder if possible, not a food processor. Or chop by hand.
Render diced bacon and/or salt pork until crispy -- do not scorch.
Remove bacon/salt pork cracklings. Saute very tiny dice onion, celery & carrot (food processor is fine-carrots should only be spots, 1/32", not pieces) in remaining fat(add additional veg oil and/or butter) for 10 minutes.
Add flour to make a tight roux. Cook 10 minutes.
Add quality fresh fish stock (important -- use cod and flounder combined). The fish frames should be cod for taste and flounder for sweetness (clean nodes from cod heads first). Add vegetables (cut small)/bouquet garni after the boil. Cook stock no more than 20 minutes after the boil. Strain.
Add stock and quahog juice to roux.
Add fresh thyme and fresh dill. Cook 10 minutes.
Add precooked diced potatoes. Cook 10 minutes.
And ground quahogs and bacon/salt pork cracklings. Check salt & pepper. The chowder base should be brought just to a boil and removed from heat. Do not boil quahogs.
At this point the chowder base is finished. Cool immediately. Consistency should be very thick -- almost like mashed potatoes. And it should have a definite bite from the fresh quahogs. Should be a bit gray in color -- again from fresh quahogs.
At service prep, add milk/cream/half and half, etc. to reach desired consistency -- heavy cream is a good barometer traditionally. Check salt & pepper again. Bring to boil just to incorporate. Do not boil -- boiling toughens the quahogs.
Serve with salt crackers (oyster crackers) or sea biscuits.
Note: The chowder base is used as is for an "Olde New England Favourite" that is not seen very often anymore -- Quahog Pie. Spoon into 10 -14 oz. casserole dishes. Top with pâte Brisée or puff pastry sheets. Decorate top. Bake 20-30 minutes.
P.S. -- Cupachowda is one word.
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