While it’s Freezing Cold Outside…

HPIM1479 Record-breaking cold and I seem not to be the best of friends these days. I still prefer cold to heat. After all, while one can always pile on more layers, there’s a limit to what I can take off! Even with my preference for chill over heat, I still crave comfort food this time of year more than anything else. Some folks may swear by chicken soup or chili, but for me New England Clam Chowder has always hit the spot when I feel like a walking ice cube.

And here is my recipe for comfort:

4 medium potatoes, pared and sliced
1/4 lb. bacon
1 cup chopped onion (white or yellow are best)
1 cup chopped celery
5 T. butter
5 T. flour
3 cups milk
1 cup bottled clam juice
3 6 oz. cans of minced clams (do NOT drain!)
1/2 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper

Boil potatoes in salted water until done (10-15 min) and drain. While potatoes cooking, fry up the bacon in Dutch oven. Set cooked bacon aside on paper towels while you saute the onions in celery in bacon drippings over medium heat. Cook onions/celery until soft but do not brown. Add butter to pan and when melted, stir in flour. Add milk and clam juice, stirring constantly until thickened. Add potatoes, clams, thyme, salt and pepper. Heat throughout, but do not boil. Serve hot and garnished with crumbled bacon.

So, what’s your favorite comfort food for freezing weather?

-Lynn Spencer

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22 Responses to “While it’s Freezing Cold Outside…”

  1. Braised lamb shanks.

    Cook onions and celery till soft in Dutch oven. Set aside. Caramelise chunks of carrot and parsnip. Season to taste as you go. Set aside with onions and celery. Brown whole, unpeeled small potatoes, or chunks of larger potatoes. Set aside. Flour and then brown the lamb shanks. I’m not giving quantities here because it will depend on what your Dutch oven can hold. Once they are browned, deglaze the pot with stock or wine. Put everything back and add an 800 gram tin of diced tomatoes, plus tomato paste. Add enough stock to just cover as well as finely chopped fresh rosemary. I also have a slow cooker, so if I’m going out or cooking early, I transfer the lot to that and leave it for the day. Otherwise cover with a layer of baking paper, put on the lid and put the Dutch oven in the oven at about 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celcius. That takes about three hours. You can add whatever you like. I’d add mushrooms, but the rest of the family hates them.

  2. Lynn Spencer says:

    Oh, that sounds good! I’m definitely of the pro-mushroom faction.

  3. Lynn, if you like seafood, too, I’ll swap you for my family.

  4. I love New England clam chowder, and your recipe sounds really yummy and easy. My favorite for really cold weather is a nice pot of bean soup. I don’t follow any particular recipe. I’ll soak a bag of mixed dried beans overnight, drain and rinse them, and then put them in a pot with either water or stock (veggie or chicken), and then whatever veggies sound good (generally onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes), a bit of garlic, and herbs and spices that suit my mood. I pretty much cook it for hours, until the beans seem somewhat soft. I’ve also added turkey sausage to it from time to time.

  5. Lynn Spencer says:

    @ Elizabeth Rolls – LOL! I actually do like seafood.

  6. AAR Rachel says:

    I made this for dinner last night, Lynn, and my husband loved it. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. i like to add herbs and spices on the foods i cook.:~’

  8. herbs and spices are great additions for your foods and pastry,i’ve been using them for several years “*:

  9. herbs and spices are great additions for your foods and pastry,i’ve been using them for several years *”"

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