In 1934, A Maine legislator introduced a bill that outlawed the use of tomatoes in any clam chowder recipe! Today, both New England and Manhattan chowders are loved. But, there is still a healthy competition between the two. This is a mock clam chowder in that the mussels are 2 to 1 with clams. They are both in the same family tree. ( Clams are more expensive than mussels ). Nutrient rich seafood.
Do you suffer from a fear of cooking shellfish?
Please, please get over it and you’ll save a huge amount of money by making clams and mussels at home instead of at a restaurant!
It’s so easy to make and s-o-o-o-o-o delicious. Some Kids gobble them up! I must confess I found this version of the mock Manhattan Clam chowder with mussels
in a sweet little Shanty pub on the shores of New York, USA. The owner shared his secret with me. Now, I am passing it on to you. ( S-H-H-H-H ) A recipe that is nowhere to be found on the planet except at the Shanty (now gone). I have never shared this recipe with anyone before. I hope you will enjoy it!
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic
8 oz. slices mushrooms
1/2 of a 750 ml bottle of white wine
1 28 oz can of plum tomatoes
1 8oz. bottle clam juice
1 5 oz. can baby clams
2 lbs. mussels
5 leaves fresh basil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (to taste) or 1 tiny red pepper 🌶️
1 tablespoon chopped flat leafed parsley
3 mild Italian sausages (optional – instead use 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of fresh ground fennel or anise)
1. Heat oil in heavy soup pot or cast iron pot.
2. Slice onions and add to pan. Heat until translucent.
3. Slice and add garlic and hot pepper. Saute for a few minutes.
4. Add mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.
5. Remove sausages from casings and fry them breaking up with a wooden spoon. Fry about 5 minutes. If you skip the sausages – add a dash of ground fennel or anise. The way they do at the restaurants. (You will know where that great flavour comes from)
6. Add wine and cook for 20 minutes.
7. Add the can of plum tomatoes roughly breaking up the tomatoes with your hands or a spoon.
Add the bottled clam juice and canned clams (or fresh de-bearded clams) . Bring to a boil. Add the basil leaves along with the chopped parsley.
8. Add the mussels which have been rinsed, and the opened ones discarded. Cover and cook for 3 minutes until all the mussels have opened.
9. If any of the mussels will not open discard them.
FOOD TIP: When your raw mussels are open, tap them on a hard counter. If they do not close then discard them as they are dead and can make you sick. If they close then they are fine to cook and enjoy. Check your clams for a beard. Simply pull them out and discard any broken clams. The Italian sausage gives a pleasant mild fennel flavour to the soup. If you don’t add sausage then add a dash of fennel, if you have it around. The spices are up to you, if you want to experiment. A bit of oregano might be nice.
VARIATIONS You can add lobster, shrimps, scallops or any other seafood you have on hand to make this into a seafood soup. If you are adding raw lobster to the soup then add that first as it takes longer to cook. It will turn pink and then add any shrimp or scallops last since they require only a few minutes of cooking or they will become tough and rubbery. If you add canned lobster include the liquid from the can for more flavour. You can add almost any fish except salmon. It has too much of a strong flavour for this dish. Sherry can also be added while you are cooking these last bits of seafood. Sherry complements the flavour of the seafood.. . .
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For decades the Portuguese classically make dishes which combine mussels and clams in their beautiful copper cataplanas. This seafood extravaganza is absolutely delicious!
Mussels and clams are a rich source of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as the B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, iron, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and zinc. They outshine most other foods when it comes to their vitamin B-12, selenium and manganese content. A 3 ounce portion of moist-heat cooked blue mussels provides 20.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12, meeting 340 percent of the recommended daily value for this nutrient, according to NutrientFacts.com. Vitamin B-12 is essential for a healthy nervous system, the formation of red blood cells and proper growth and development. The same amount meets 108 percent of the DV for selenium and 288 percent for manganese. Selenium is important for immune system function and supports the thyroid gland, while manganese is involved in bone health and energy metabolism. Mussels are rich in sodium as well which is why this soup did not need any salt added.