Hearty Clam Chowder for a Stormy Winter Night

Hearty Clam Chowder
Recipes in this Post

I have always loved clam chowder, that is good clam chowder. The stuff that comes in the can, even the expensive stuff that comes in a can, just cannot compare to soup you make yourself. Homemade soup is just richer and tastier.

On Fridays, I usually spend time with my good friend and we talk about the current political climate. Well, the weather climate was so bad that we decided not to meet. I was out already in it, and I mean, it was cold, and very windy. The wind was so strong, I actually had to take cover under an awning and I thought it was going to bowl me over. I think this is one of the worst winter storms Los Angeles has had, at least in my many years here. When I got home, I was cold and wet and wanted something warm that would stick to my bones. Although I had originally planned on Lentil Soup with Cilantro, it just didn’t seem like it was a rib sticking as I wanted, and I decided on Hearty Clam Chowder instead.

I am going to make another cold weather dish, Boston Baked Beans, with the rest of the salt pork that I used in the Hearty Clam Chowder. Looks like I am prepared for this rainy winter in Southern California.

Hearty Clam Chowder YouTube Video


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Potato and Leek Casserole

Potato and Leek CasseroleRecipes in this Post

When I went to the local farmer’s market, they had some lovely leeks and beets available. I bought both. I made pickled beets with the beets, and then struggled with what to do with the leeks. Usually, I make a Quiche, but I really didn’t like the idea of turning my oven on twice, once to pre-bake the shell, and then to bake the Quiche itself. Now that I have my mandoline, I have had so much fun, and I thought to combine potatoes and leeks together in a casserole.

I also had a lovely pork loin in my refrigerator, and leeks and pork go together so nicely. A bottle of white wine was waiting to make it a perfect meal.

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Nancy’s Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes

Recipes in this Post Nancu's Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes

I have a wonderful friend, Nancy, who makes the best chicken, Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Nancy was a Pan Am stewardess, so you know that chicken had to be good. Now, Nancy is a member of Kiwanis. As part of her volunteer work with Kiwanis, she invited my son to help her be Guest Chef at Ascencia. My son was too interested in playing with the other children who had also been invited to help her. I don’t think the kids did much helping, they just did a lot of playing.

She made this moist, crusty chicken that everyone loved. I got to be on the clean up team, but I’m not a forensic chef, so I didn’t know quite how she made it. None of those children made any notes on how she prepared that chicken, either.

Nancy;'s recipe for Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Nancy’s Recipe for Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Well, I saw Nancy a few days ago, and she wrote the recipe down for me. I asked her if it had bread crumbs, and she said no. Well, I decided to change the recipe, just a bit and add Panko bread crumbs. I like Panko bread crumbs because they stay nice and crisp, and they have very little flavor of their own.

My local corner store had some lovely fingerling potatoes at the counter when I was checking out a few days ago, and I picked some up. Potatoes go very well chicken, and these little ones will be done at the same time the chicken will be done. Tonight, when I was washing them, I noticed one of them had grown a few eyes. I put it back in the bag and put it in the dry goods drawer. It will be going out and living in the Apartment Vegetable Garden when its roots get a little longer.

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Hot Dogs Covered with Mashed Potatoes and Cheese

Recipes in this PostHot Dogs Covered with Mashed Potatoes and Cheese

This is Spane’s favorite dinner, bar none. I think it’s because I use very good hot dogs, either uncured New York style, or Kosher dogs. I use hot dogs with excellent flavor, and I use sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese.

This is an old recipe. My best friend Marissa‘s mother used to make these, and I loved them. Marissa told me she was surprised to find that her finance’s mother also made these. Shortly thereafter, when Spane was about 2, I found a very old 1950’s advertisement that had the recipe. I wish I had kept it, just for fun.

A lot of people make this with left over mashed potatoes. I suppose that would be okay, but potatoes lose their airiness when they are chilled, and it’s difficult to make them fluffy again. I always use freshly mashed potatoes, and make them like I would regular mashed potatoes, with plenty of butter and milk.

Please don’t use yellow mustard when making this dish. There are so many different mustards available, and a little experimentation is good for you. If you don’t like very strong mustard, try a brown mustard, or a stone ground mustard. Be adventurous!
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Mother’s Day Breakfast Brunch

Recipes in this PostMother's Day 2013

Well, the good folks at Ascencia have asked me to make Mother’s Day breakfast – for 40. Of those 40, there are several mothers, and I’m going to make this breakfast special for them. Of course, I have to have the breakfast ready at 6:00am, and that is going to be eye-opening, to say the least.

Update – Thanks to my friend, Shem of Kobelin by Shem for taking great photos of the food. She even made me look good!

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