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Dill in Chowder

I have tried a few times making New England Clam Chowder and I cannot seem to get the fresh dill to incorporate, and I all just floats on top. And I am not getting much dill flavor at all.

I have had chowder out with dill and it is always nicely mixed in and full of flavor.

What am I doing wrong?

asked by DB over 2 years ago

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8 answers 968 views
pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 2 years ago

The reason it floats to the top is that there is no emulsifying agent. Same principle as oil and vinegar dressing. You can simply sprinkle fresh dill over each portion.

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DB
DB
added over 2 years ago

Any suggestion as to what I might use to as an emulsion? Have had it out and it was well incorporated and flavorful unlike mine b

Smaug
added over 2 years ago

Emulsifiers are used to keep unlike liquids in suspension, such as oil in vinegar. They have no application here.

amysarah
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Dill could be tasty in chowder - it goes well with many types of fish, potatoes and creamy dishes. But I don't associate it with traditional New England clam chowder - if any herb turns up there, it's usually thyme or parsley, in my experience (many summers on the Cape, Nantucket, Main, etc.) Of course, traditional may not be your goal, in which case, go for it!)

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DB
DB
added over 2 years ago

Yes, agree not exactly traditional. But have had it this way a few times out and about the area and love it. Just can't seem to replicate it well.

amysarah
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Just remembered - there might also be a bay leaf. But no matter, re emulsion, might help to give info about the recipes you're using - i.e., are you using a flour roux (cooked in bacon/salt pork fat) or just the potatoes and/or cream to thicken?

amysarah
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Another approach occurs to me - instead of using chopped dill, you could try tying a small bunch of whole springs together (like a bouquet garni) and simmering it in the soup. Would give the dill flavor with far fewer floating bits.

cv
cv
added over 2 years ago

If you are comparing your N.E. clam chowder with something from a restaurant, I assume it's a procedural difference.

Most likely the restaurant is taking a small portion of the cooked chowder and blending it with fresh dill (in a food processor or stick blender, etc.) and reincorporating this into the serving portion. This preserves the freshness of the herb as well as providing the homogeneity.

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