The Chowdah: A Foodhack for Tailgating

Bacon, Leek, Crab and Potato Chowder

Since the first time I made this chowder, last fall for a college football afternoon, it has been a big hit.  It was a key element in the Mr’s realization (along with another soup and a really great tart) of his love for leeks.   The combination of flavors is just great, and the Tabasco sauce adds just the right kick.

My father in law requested it for Sunday’s Patriots game, and since he asks for so little and really seems to like this chowder (he got a free sample the last time he was here looking after the kids) I was happy to make a double batch for the Mr and his dad’s snowstorm tailgating.

The hacks:

  • The making of this chowder in the first place.  After a lot of chowder-making (all New England Style, white chowder) and trying different recipes, I stumbled upon this one,  from Rachael Ray.  I’m not calling HER a hack–I don’t want whatever minions from the cult of sammies, yum-O! and EVOO to put a hit out on me.  Just…anything that’s touted as “30-minute” anything is, by definition, a foodhack.    The Mr was home from work on holiday weekday, and paused while channel surfing.  I said, “Wait–that actually looks good!”  and doggone it, he did wait.  He left the show on for the whole rest of the chowder segment.  I went online and found the recipe and tried it the next day.   Made as written, this is one of the best chowders that I have ever eaten, and certainly the best one that I make.
  • Frozen clams.  Yes, the Cape Cod Chowder Company clams again.   A few months ago, I went to buy the ingredients to make this chowder and got some sticker shock at the price of fresh crabmeat.  I feel about canned crab and other shellfish kind of like Anthony Bourdain feels about garlic, so please, canned crab was not an option.  I had already tried these clams, and at $5.99 (the same price they’ve always been, while the price of everything else from cereal to rice to milk has skyrocketed) , they were less than half the price of the crab.  I’ve made it with clams for the last six months or so, and no one has commented or missed the crab. 

Only two foodhacks for this recipe–one timesaver and one moneysaver.   I don’t think I’d fuss with it otherwise, including substituting  much less costly onions for the leeks.  The leeks are what make it Special.  And the bacon.  

Add some croutons on top and transport to Gillette Stadium in the pot you plan to reheat in, and voi-effing-la.  The Mr told me that he didn’t have any at the game, as they shared it with a bunch of people and he didn’t get any.  He said it was a big hit w/the others.  He might have even said Yum-O.


2 thoughts on “The Chowdah: A Foodhack for Tailgating

  1. Thanks, Skinny—I’ve tried to fix this, but keep getting dead ends. Maybe I don’t DESERVE to have chowder.

    I’m working on it!

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