Sunday, February 5, 2017

Recipes by Jane Morgan: Clam Chowder; Honey Cake

Jane Morgan's Clam Chowder

6 dozen fresh steamer clams
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups peeled, diced potatoes
8 strips lean bacon, cut in 1/2-inch squares
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small rib of celery, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Good pinch of oregano
Good pinch of basil (or tarragon)
Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Scrub unopened clams in cold water. Rinse well. Cover with cold seawater (or salted water allowing 1 tablespoon salt per quart of water); let bathe 15 minutes. Repeat twice to rid clams of grit and sand; drain well. Add clams to a large, deep stock pot with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Steam 5-10 minutes (or until shells open, releasing liquor into the water making the clam broth). Drain well, reserving broth. Remove clams from shell, discarding dark parts, rinse under water; set aside. Strain clam broth through cheesecloth to remove sand.

Parboil potatoes in water to cover 15 minutes, to remove excess starch. Drain, discard water. Put potatoes in large stock pot.

Fry bacon in skillet until crisp, lift out, drain well; set aside. Pour off most of the bacon fat; saute onion in bacon fat until limp but not brown. Add onions to potatoes in stock pot with carrot, celery, salt and pepper. Add 4 cups liquid (clam stock plus canned clam broth or water). Cover, simmer gently about 45 minutes.

Add tomatoes, oregano, basil (or tarragon) and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer 1/2 hour longer. Add more liquid if desired. Add clams, heat but do not boil. Pour immediately into large, warmed soup plates. Serve with pilot crackers. Serves 4-6.

Thoughts: Select steamer clams (Ipswich) about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, in season from May to October. Dig your own soft-shell clams, or buy fresh from the market and use the same day.

Jane Morgan's Honey Cake

6 eggs
1 pound honey
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cold coffee
1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
1 cup orange juice
5 1/2 cups cake flour
3 tsps. baking powder
2 tsps. baking soda
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Beat eggs until lemon-colored. Add honey, sugar, coffee, lemon rind, orange juice, cake flour (sifted together with baking powder), baking soda and vegetable oil. Blend well.

Pour batter into a well-greased, deep, square cake pan. Bake cake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven about 1 1/4 hours or until cake tests done when a toothpick comes out dry. Let stand 10 minutes before turning out on cake rack. Serves 15-20.

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