Cooking From Every Angle

Bay Scallop Chowder

December 17, 2010 • 15 Comments

5 Save

Bay Scallop Chowder

- Amanda

My family celebrates Christmas eve by sitting down to a big dinner. Back when my siblings and I were in our 20s, these meals were long, epic affairs that lasted until midnight and beyond. Now that we all have kids, they tend to be more punctuated but more lively with lots of adult and child banter (last year we had grilled oysters, roasted pork, and about 857 cookies).

This bay scallop chowder, clipped from Food & Wine in 1998, makes its appearance at our holiday table every few years. It's a terrific starter course because most of it can be made ahead, and it feeds a crowd.

Bay Scallop Chowder

Adapted from Patrick Clark, the former chef at the Tavern on the Green, via Food & Wine

Serves 12

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces thickly sliced smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 cups bottled clam broth
  • 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • Bouquet garni made with 2 bay leaves, 5 fresh parsley sprigs, 3 fresh thyme sprigs and 8 black peppercorns, wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 large leeks, white and tender green, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 pounds bay scallops, membranes removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

1. Melt the butter in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the clam broth, chicken stock and bouquet garni to the casserole and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to moderately high heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. (The recipe can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to a boil before proceeding.)

3. Add the diced potatoes to teh soup and cook over moderately high heat until just tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the heavy cream with the cornstarch until smooth. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups cream, then whisk the mixture into the soup. Bring the soup to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the leeks and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. (The chowder can stand at room temperature for up to 3 hours. Rewarm before finishing.)

5. Stir the scallops into the chowder and cook over moderate heat just until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes; don't let the soup boil. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the chowder into a tureen or individual bowls. Garnish with the chopped chives and serve at once.


Comments (15)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

over 3 years ago msitter

Hi. The chowder and the menu sound special. It is also nice to be reminded of Patrick Clark who had a great hand. Patrick had a slow cooker and other electronic appliances brought into his hospital room so he could eat well while waiting for a heart transplant.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I forgot about that hospital detail -- love that!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

over 3 years ago lapadia

A wonderful chowder recipe, Amanda! For many years I have made one similar for New Year’s Eve. I see you like grilled oysters, too…please check out my husband’s Grilled Prosciutto wrapped oysters, here on Food52, they are delicious. http://www.food52.com/recipes... of the season to you and yours.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I did -- looks delicious!

532719_3658538260807_1195156242_32905581_1657496368_n_2

over 3 years ago Rhonda35

This chowder is so yummy; everyone must give it a try! One correction...the recipe was from Patrick Clark. If I remember correctly, he died shortly after the feature was in Food and Wine.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for the clarification -- fixed it!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yum, this sounds so so good. It'd be great in the summer, too, with fresh corn-off-the-cob stirred in, and a drizzle of parsley oil. Oh, and some crusty dinner rolls. ;-)

Moi

over 3 years ago Sally

I like this! It would make a very good Christmas eve dinner by itself for those who pull out the stops on Christmas day. Our family (I should say, my husband's family) traditionally makes tamales for Christmas eve. They are far away, and since it is more of a community project, I was considering opting out with Trader Joe's frozen version (not really bad, actually.) But this seems much more festive and elegant. Thanks.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks -- hope you enjoy it!

Dsc_0675-x2a

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Lovely recipe. The crushed red pepper adds the perfect festive touch of color. We love the bay scallops. For fun sometimes we used to employ our collection of scallop shells as place cards, which was always a great task for the children.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes -- it gives the whole thing a little zip. Merrill used clam shells as placecards at her wedding.

Lnd_jen

over 3 years ago lastnightsdinner

That looks so inviting, rich and lush but not too heavy. Yum.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Exactly -- that's why it has stuck around in our family -- because it feels lavish but isn't too overwhelming.

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Looks delicious and may replace the shrimp bisque I was planning for our Christmas Eve. No bay scallops here, but I could quarter sea scallops instead, yes?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, and we've done that.