Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday, Fishday

Since it's Friday, I decided to cook seafood for dinner, and I decided to go with slumgullion.

Slumgullion originally was a word to describe a watery meat stew, and comes from the California Gold Rush, but a more modern western U.S. meaning of the term is a soup made similarly to New England Clam Chowder, but including other seafood as well as the clams. It is a chowder well suited to Oregon's seafood. Here's the recipe I used:

6 oz. Dungeness crab meat
6 oz. shrimp meat (I use the tiny sweet shrimp native to the Oregon coast)
4 0z. bacon
2 lbs. clams in shell (I actually only used 12 oz., but the only shortcoming of the final dish was a lack of sufficient clam chunks)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup sweet yellow onion, small dice
1/2 cup celery, small dice
2.5 lbs Russett potatoes
salt to taste
pepper to taste
fresh thyme to taste

Mise en Place:
stock pot
2 large saucepans (3 quart or bigger)
wooden spoon
paring knife
chef's knife
Chinois or mesh strainer
non-reactive bowl
cutting board

Place the potatoes in one of the saucepans and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer until fork soft. Blanch, peel, and cut large dice.

While the potatoes are boiling, place an inch of water in the stock pot, bring to a boil, add the clams. Boil for 5 minutes and drain, straining the water through a chinois or mesh strainer into a bowl. Chop the clams and rinse, removing the stomach grit.

Cut the bacon into half-inch pieces. In a second large saucepan, render the bacon and add the small diced onion and celery, sweat until clear. Deglasse with 1 cup of the clam water and transfer to the stock pot. Add the clams, shrimp, crab meat, potatoes, cream, butter, remaining clam water and milk, simmer for 1 hour, adding salt, pepper, and thyme at the half hour mark.

Makes 6-8 servings.

I made a simple parmesan toast to go with it, and paired it with a Chilean Sauvignon Gris, which was wonderful, but any white wine with a citrus component would go well with it.

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