Manhattan ‘Mock’ Clam Chowder -20 Minutes!

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.shanty  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 

musselsandclams

Clams Are Small, Round and Light Colored.  Mussels are Darker and Long Shaped

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!
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INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
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)
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INSTRUCTIONS
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.

Cook for 3 minutes - until the mussels open

Cook for 3 minutes – until  all the  mussels open

Serve

Serve “Mussel Soup Supreme” with garlic bread.

HAT2FOOD 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.

mussels_soup_basilVARIATIONS  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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SEAFOOD SENSATION!
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 Pork

Mussels And Clams In A “BIG” Clam Shell

didyouknowNUTRIENT-RICH
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.

Oven-dried Tomatoes

These are so easy to make and freeze to enjoy throughout the year.  Great on salads, sandwiched, pasta. pizza.  The flavour is concentrated.
INGREDIENTS
6 to 8 tomatoes, slices about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, fresh oregano, fresh basil, whatever you have
1 tablespoon  olive oil
DIRECTIONS
1.  Preheat oven to 250 F or 120 C
2.  Place sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet  on a piece of parchment or silpat sheet.

Sliced fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil

Sliced fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil

3 Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt pepper and fresh herbs.
4.  Bake for one to two hours checking every half hour until pieces have shrunk slightly, edges are shriveled and juices no longer run.  They are not completely dried but are still juicy.

tomatoes that have been backed and out of the oven

Sun (oven) Dried Tomatoes

5.  Cool slightly and put into glass jars covered by olive oil.  Leave about 1/2 inch of head room and freeze if you will not use them up in the next week or two.  Yummy!

Oven-dried tomatoes in glass jar with olive oil and thyme

Oven-dried tomatoes in glass jar with olive oil and thyme

Baked Tomato Sauce Recipe

My Baked Tomato Sauce is so EASY to make! The magic is in the fresh ingredients. No more stirring and simmering over a hot stove.
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INGREDIENTS
2 lbs or 1 kg tomatoes
1 small tin anchovies (drained and diced)
3 cloves garlic sliced
1/2 tsp.(2ml)  freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp.(2ml)  hot red chili flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp. (1ml) salt (optional)
1/4 cup (50 ml.) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (50ml.)   chopped fresh basil or parsley
add 6 thyme sprigs (optional / recommended) and/or sliced onions before baking.

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DIRECTIONS
1)  Preheat oven to 350F(160C)
2)  Slice tomatoes into 1/2″ (1 cm.) slices and layer in a casserole dish with the chili flakes, anchovies, garlic and pepper.  Optionally add salt as well.  Pour olive oil on top.
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3)  Roast in the oven for 1 hour or until the tomatoes are soft and caramelized.
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4)  Keep warm and cook your pasta.
5)  Toss pasta with sauce and sprinkle with the basil or parsley.

in-depthIN DEPTH:
Read more….
Interesting back story
Please click “HERE“.

The CLASSIC PASTA DISH (Home made)

The CLASSIC PASTA DISH (Home made)

didyouknowDID YOU KNOW? HEIRLOOM Tomatoes are increasing in popularity by the organic veggie consumers because they are a more natural and flavourful fruit. TOMATOES are armed with healthy Lycopene fighting free radical and the UV tomato skin battles cancer cells – every time you eat a tomato. The amount of bioavailable lycopene increases by cooking the tomato compared to eating them raw.  When you add a bit of healthy fat like olive oil, your body absorbs the lycopene more readily – four times more in fact. That’s how you maximize the body readiness of carotenoids from a tomato.This popular nightshade fruit is more powerful than an apple. Like carrots, the tomato is also good for your eyes.

Decorated Goat Cheese

menu_flower Spring is just around the corner. Here is an idea that will wow your friends and welcome spring with a goat cheese appetizer. Have you seen those lovely decorated goat cheese rounds in your grocer’s deli case? They are so easy to make. Put a piece of plastic wrap in a small container that is a shape you wish to duplicate. Place a piece of washed herb, edible flower(s), olives, crushed coloured peppercorns, whatever you wish on top of the plastic wrap. Place a piece of goat cheese on top, pressing the sides into the corner of the container. I wrap the plastic wrap on top and at the end, press it on the counter top to flatten the base. Refrigerate overnight and you can unmould it onto your serving dish. It looks so much more appetizing when presented this way. Remember, the eye does half the eating. Beautiful!

didyouknow FOOD FACTS: Some things you may not know about goat cheese. While cheese and milk from cows is most popular in the United States, on an international scale, goat cheese is actually more commonly consumed.
If you want to get technical, cheese made with goat milk has a higher amount of medium-chain fatty acids. You don’t necessarily have to know the science behind these acids, but they account for the cheese’s signature tangy flavor, and also make goat cheese easier on the digestive system, so those with lactose sensitivities often find goat cheese easier to digest.