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The clam chowder bread bowl is a classic dish that combines a creamy and flavorful clam chowder with a warm, crusty bread bowl. The recipe typically involves making the bread bowl from scratch by shaping and baking the dough in the oven. The chowder is then prepared separately with fresh clams, potatoes, onions, and other ingredients. The dish is hearty, comforting, and perfect for chilly days, and it can be customized with different types of bread, toppings, and seasonings to suit individual tastes.
What is a Bread Bowl?
A bread bowl is exactly what it sounds like – a bowl made out of bread! It’s a hollowed-out loaf of bread that’s used as a container for soup or stew. Bread bowls can be made from any type of bread, but sourdough bread is a popular choice for its sturdy and flavorful crust.
Ingredients Used In Clam Chowder Bread Bowl
- Bacon grease or pork fat (rendered), 3 tablespoons
- Small onion (chopped), 1
- Celery stalk (chopped), 1
- Crushed garlic, 1 teaspoon
- Salt, 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper, ¼ teaspoon
- Clam juice 2 8-ounce bottles, 16 ounces
- Chicken broth, 1 cup
- Russet potatoes cut into small cubes, ½ pound
- 1 bay leaf
- Fresh thyme, 2 sprigs
- Salted butter, 3 tablespoons
- Heavy cream, 3 cups
- All-purpose flour, ¼ cup
- Minced clams (drained), 2 cans
- Whole clams (drained), 1 can
- Fresh parsley (chopped), 1 teaspoon
- 4 bread bowls store-bought
Step By Step Instructions To Make Clam Chowder Bread Bowl
A 4.5-quart soup pot should be heated with bacon grease or pork fat.
Thyme, onions, and celery should be added at this point. Approximately 2-3 minutes at medium-high heat. One minute later, add the garlic.
Bring the potatoes, clam juice, chicken broth, and clams to a boil in the pot.
Using 3 tablespoons of butter, melt 3 tablespoons of roux in a separate saucepan. Stir in the flour as soon as the butter melts and turn the flame down to a low temperature. When the mixture (roux) is thick, add the heavy cream and whisk until combined. Take it off the heat.
Combine the roux mixture with the potatoes and clam juice in a pot. Continue boiling for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer. Potatoes will become tender as the chowder base thickens.
Put the clams into the pot and let them simmer for about 3 minutes.
Cover the part while you carve the bread bowls and turn off the flame. Stir in the fresh parsley and cover. Notes below explain how to carve the bread bowls.
Assemble the bowls by ladling the clam chowder into them.
How to carve the bread bowls?
Carving the bread bowls is an important step in serving clam chowder bread bowls. Here’s how to do it:
Cut off the top of the bread bowl: Using a sharp serrated knife carefully cut off the top of the bread bowl. Set the top aside.
Hollow out the bread: Using your hands or a spoon, carefully hollow out the inside of the bread bowl, leaving about 1/2 inch of bread around the edges. Be sure to leave enough bread in the bottom so that it can hold the chowder.
Cut the bread into bite-sized pieces: Take the pieces of bread that you removed from the inside of the bowl and cut them into bite-sized pieces. These can be served alongside the chowder for dipping.
Serve the chowder in the bread bowl: Ladle the clam chowder into the hollowed-out bread bowl, filling it to the top.
By following these steps, you can easily carve your bread bowls and serve your clam chowder in a fun and unique way.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the perfect Clam Chowder Bread Bowl:
Choose the Right Bread: When selecting bread for your Clam Chowder Bread Bowl, choose a sturdy loaf with a thick crust. Sourdough bread is a popular choice for its tangy flavor and sturdy texture, but any dense bread will work.
Hollow Out the Bread Carefully: Use a serrated knife to cut off the top of the bread loaf and remove the inside crumb, leaving a thick shell to hold the chowder. Be careful not to cut through the bottom or the sides of the bread.
Toast the Bread Bowl: To give the bread bowl a crispy texture, lightly brush the inside with melted butter and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes before filling it with chowder.
Use High-Quality Clam Juice: The quality of the clam juice will affect the overall flavor of the chowder. Use high-quality bottled clam juice or make your own by simmering fresh clams in water.
Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like thyme and parsley add a bright and fresh flavor to the Clam Chowder Bread Bowl. If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried herbs can be used, but use a smaller amount as they are more potent.
Don’t Overcook the Clams: Add the canned clams at the end of the cooking process to prevent them from becoming rubbery. Heat them through for a few minutes, then add the fresh parsley and serve.
Serve Immediately: Clam Chowder Bread Bowls are best served immediately after filling to prevent them from becoming soggy. Enjoy the delicious combination of warm, creamy chowder and crispy bread bowl!
Here are some variations on the classic Clam Chowder Bread Bowl recipe that you can try:
Manhattan Clam Chowder: Instead of the creamy, New England-style chowder, try making a tomato-based Manhattan Clam Chowder. This version is tangy and savory and pairs well with a crusty bread bowl.
Seafood Chowder: Mix things up by adding other seafood, such as shrimp, scallops, or lobster, to your chowder. This will add extra depth of flavor and texture to your dish.
Vegetarian Chowder: Omit the clams and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make a vegetarian version of the chowder. Add in your favorite veggies, such as carrots, celery, and potatoes, for a hearty and flavorful meal.
Smoky Chowder: Add a smoky flavor to your chowder by using smoked bacon instead of regular bacon grease. You can also add a pinch of smoked paprika or chipotle powder to the chowder for extra depth of flavor.
Gluten-Free Bread Bowl: If you are gluten intolerant or avoiding gluten, you can still enjoy the deliciousness of Clam Chowder Bread Bowls. Look for gluten-free bread options, such as rice flour or almond flour bread, or use a large potato or sweet potato as your serving dish instead.
Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make this classic dish your own.
Here are some serving suggestions for Clam Chowder Bread Bowls:
Serve with Oyster Crackers: Oyster crackers are a classic accompaniment to clam chowder. Serve them on the side, or sprinkle them on top of the chowder for some added crunch.
Add a Salad: A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing pairs well with creamy chowder. You can also add some diced tomatoes or cucumbers for extra freshness.
Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Top your chowder with some fresh chopped parsley or chives for a pop of color and flavor.
Pair with a White Wine: A crisp, dry white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, pairs well with the briny flavors of the chowder.
Serve with a Spoon: Don’t forget to serve a spoon with each bread bowl so that your guests can scoop out every last drop of the delicious chowder.
Offer Hot Sauce: If your guests like a little spice, set out some hot sauce on the table for them to add to their chowder.
Remember, the bread bowl itself is part of the dish, so make sure to scoop out some of the bread along with the chowder for a satisfying and delicious meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make the chowder spicy?
Yes, you can add spices like cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to give the chowder some heat. Just be sure to taste the chowder as you go to avoid over-spicing it.
Can I freeze the chowder?
Clam chowder can be frozen, but the texture may change slightly when it’s thawed and reheated. If you’re planning to freeze the chowder, leave out the potatoes, as they can become grainy when frozen.
Can I make the chowder ahead of time and reheat it in the bread bowls?
Yes, you can make the chowder ahead of time and reheat it in the bread bowls. However, the bread bowls may become slightly soggy when reheated, so it’s best to only fill them with the chowder just before serving.
Can I make the chowder with other types of potatoes?
Yes, you can use other types of potatoes, such as Yukon gold or red potatoes, instead of russet potatoes. Keep in mind that different types of potatoes may have different cooking times, so adjust accordingly.
Clam Chowder Bread Bowls are a delicious and comforting dish that is perfect for a cozy night in or for impressing guests at a dinner party. With the right ingredients and a few helpful tips, you can create a chowder that is creamy, flavorful, and hearty and a bread bowl that is the perfect vessel for soaking up every last drop. So why not give it a try and see for yourself just how satisfying this dish can be?
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Clam Chowder Bread Bowl Recipe
- 3 tablespoons Bacon grease or pork fat (rendered)
- 1 Small onion (chopped)
- 1 Celery stalk (chopped)
- teaspoon Crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper
- 16 ounces Clam juice 2 8-ounce bottles
- 1 cup Chicken broth
- ½ pound Russet potatoes cut into small cubes
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs Fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons Salted butter
- 3 cups Heavy cream
- ¼ cup All-purpose flour
- 2 cans Minced clams (drained)
- 1 can Whole clams (drained)
- 1 teaspoon Fresh parsley (chopped)
- 4 bread bowls store-bought
- A 4.5-quart soup pot should be heated with bacon grease or pork fat.
- Thyme, onions, and celery should be added at this point. Approximately 2-3 minutes at medium-high heat. One minute later, add the garlic.
- Bring the potatoes, clam juice, chicken broth, and clams to a boil in the pot.
- Using 3 tablespoons of butter, melt 3 tablespoons of roux in a separate saucepan. Stir in the flour as soon as the butter melts and turn the flame down to a low temperature. When the mixture (roux) is thick, add the heavy cream and whisk until combined. Take it off the heat.
- Combine the roux mixture with the potatoes and clam juice in a pot. Continue boiling for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer. Potatoes will become tender as the chowder base thickens.
- Put the clams into the pot and let them simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Cover the part while you carve the bread bowls and turn off the flame. Stir in the fresh parsley and cover. Notes below explain how to carve the bread bowls.
- Assemble the bowls by ladling the clam chowder into them.