Boston Clam Chowder Made in France

Creamy Boston Clam Chowder
Boston Clam Chowder

If you love clams, then you will love this recipe. Personally, I don’t usually eat fish based soups, I find them very fishy by the next day. I make soups by the vat to last a few days as a filler for our always hungry family.

But this recipe is from my friend Marion, she is a flight attendant for Air France and she brings home clams directly from Boston, and they have no smell, just yumma goodness.

If I make this recipe, you can use local clams, just try to find the freshest you can, if not there is always the canned alternative.

How to make Boston Clam Chowder

What is Boston Clam Chowder? Clams in a creamy broth, served as a soup and the recipe originating from the Boston area of the USA.

Clam Chowder Boston style
Boston Clam Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 3 kilo clams cooked in vegetable or fish soup base, then cleaned = 300 grams of clam meat (or buy the canned version)
  • 500 grams of bacon (no salt needed as this are already salty)
  • 6 potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 4 large onions diced
  • 2 large shallots diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves crushed
  • 500 ml of milk
  • 50 grams butter
  • 500 ml cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce
Boston Clam Chowder ingredients
Clam Chowder Boston style preparations

Method: 

  1. First boil your clams in vegetable or fish stock or bouillon until they open. Take out the meat and set aside in a large bowl, Save the broth to add into the soup at the end.
  2. In a large soup pot big enough to hold all your ingredients, brown your bacon and set aside the meat in your separate bowl
  3. Add the onions, shallots and garlic to the drippings, cook until translucent on medium stirring occasionally and then set them aside in the same large bowl
  4. Next add in your butter and sauté your potatoes for a few minutes
  5. Put everything back into the pot from your large bowl and add in the remaining broth, pepper, bay leaves, and bring to a boil.
  6. Add in your milk and cream and bring to boil stirring occasionally
  7. Lower the temperature to a medium-low, cover and continue cooking for an hour, checking and stirring occasionally
  8. serve with warm bread and fresh parsley on top

Blanquette de Veau

Blanchette de veau
Blanquette, French Veal Stew

This is a delicate subtle flavoured stew, using clean white meat, normally the finest veal you can find, which is favourable with my children and my picky husband.

I COULDN’T BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE HAD SECONDS!

This is among the preferable meals in any French house. One, because it is easy to make, two, because it is a comfort food probably made for kids by their grandmothers and three, because these cuts of meat are often reasonable priced and you don’t need much in the stew to make this dish.

Many people take out the veggies and sift the sauce to make it is white as possible, but I only did that for the kids so they didn’t have thyme and onions floating around on their plates. I did place a few pretty carrots and celery on their plates afterwards, and when they asked for more I gave it to them without sifting and they still ate it up!

I served the stew over homemade pasta using organic whole wheat flour, a new thing I insist on doing for my family. I can control the quality of flour, the freshness of our organic eggs and add in just a dash of sea salt. Eh voila!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo veal, cubed
  • 50 grams butter
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 celery stalks, no leaves
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 springs thyme
  • 4 stems of parsley
  • 500 grams Parisian mushrooms (white button) optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 500 ml whipping cream (sour cream/creme fraiche is an alternative)
  • 2 egg whites ( I used one entire egg instead)
  • juice of one organic lemon

Serve over pasta, potatoes or rice

Equipment:

1 large dutch oven

whisk for whipping cream/egg/lemon mixture just before serving

Blanquette de veau dans le pot
Blanchette in dutch oven before cooked

Method

Step 1 – melt butter in skillet with lid, add in meat, onions, garlic, carrots, celery and warm for 5 5 – 10 minutes.

Step 2 – add in white wine and bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half

Step 3 – add in stalk, cover, cook for 1 hour on medium, covered for 1/2 the time

Step 4 – in a separate container whisk eggs, lemon juice and whipping cream

Step 5 – add to stew and take off stove

Step 6 Serve immediately! Et VOILA! Blanquette!

white stew French Style

Not so slow cooked Cassoulet

my first cassoulet
Cassoulet Fait Maison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my birthday this year Alfonz treated me to a traditional French Cassoulet in St. Jeans Minervois paired with the local Muscat. Now, there are different villages in a triangle around Capestang whom all claim to be the origin of Cassoulet. They all have variations on the recipe.

Cassoulet is white beans baked with sausages and duck confit. It is rich, comforting, with a smooth texture. People always say that it takes days to make this deadly delicious meal.

So… me being me…

I decided to see how hard is it to actually make?

You can buy cassoulet in cans just like baked beans back home. Occasionally, I will buy it at the local supermarket, warm it up and serve it with fresh bread from the local baker and call it dinner. This variety is more like beans in gravy and there are pieces of duck and sausages throughout. It is very tasty, I mean how can it not be? Duck cooked in its own fat, slowly baked in beans. When I visit my family in hungary, I bring enough for everyone to try the flavours of France without having me to cook. It is unanimous, everyone children included, love this dish.

In the restaurant the beans were drier, and the duck fat was hot and clear. A slight taste of tomato was present and the colour was opaque paprika. The meal was rich, but not as rich as the canned variety. The duck confit was made on site, done in the traditional method of the town. People would come from all over the world to try this dish in this restaurant which was once a school house. The meal was memorable, decadent and cozy.

I decided to make my cassoulet a little differently, because I missed the creaminess of the canned version, but wanted it lighter and found a recipe with actual vegetables in the dish. Usually when the beans are ready for the oven, you discard them. But I am not know for wasting anything as healthy as potager from an organic garden. I left them in, and I am glad I did! It gave the meal colour, and a little variety to the chew. It was a more adventurous version than the locals would do. Tomatoes are the controversial ingredient although not traditional in every recipe especially over towards Carcassonne, however in St Jean Minervois, the recipe says bien sur!

saute ingredients and simmer
cassoulet, step one, saute and simmer ingredients together

Ingredients 

  • bacon (I used a large piece, quartered)
  • 750 grams of canned white beans (you can use dried and soak over night but cooking time is far more)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots

    stick

  • 1 white carrot
  • 6 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • 2 tbsp. duck fat
  • thyme
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-4 duck confit 
  • sausage of choice pre browned in frying pan

In essence you are cooking the beans in stock with vegetable. This will soften the beans up and the vegetable flavours will transfer to the bean and make them not only edible but sweet and loaded with taste. When you use canned beans, the beans are already soft, so it is more about getting the flavour into them.

Here in France we can buy duck confit ready to eat in every supermarket. If you are not so lucky to live in France, duck confit is slowly cooked duck in its own fat. You have to get enough fat to cover the duck and then place in the oven to cook over time. The meat is divine, tender, robust and falls apart in your mouth. Here is a link that shows you how to make it from scratch.

Most restaurants outside of France are obsessed with bread crumbs on top and browning them. Their versions are also more like the canned variety. To me this is a cheap way of doing it, and original recipes I read about, bread crumbs and creamy sauces were not the norm but a more commercialized version that the world now recognises as cassoulet.

My only folly was to overcook the beans before getting them into the oven. The smells in our house that day were seductive. The meal was a success even with the kids. I made far too much and still have some in the fridge, and it gets thicker as time goes by, so I suggest adding more water. Once the duck and sausages, bacon are gone, you can always make more and add to your plate. Next time, I will spend less time boiling the beans in the pot time, and a longer time slow cooking them in the oven. Voila!

cassoulet French quick and easy
Cooking the beans for cassoulet, smells devine! 

Method 

  1. brown bacon, then add in onions, garlic, carrots and celery
  2. add in beans, tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper, and cover with water and cook for an hour
  3. Once done, take off the stove and put your duck confit and sausages under the beans and place in the oven for an hour
  4. brown the top
  5. Serve with bread
quick and easy cassoulet
taste better than it looks!

Duck Confit Coup with Beans and Savoy Cabbage

The mayor’s wife sent over a giant organic savoy cabbage from her father’s garden, and along with the generous gift, she told me how she makes her favourite soup from duck confit.

Confit is a traditional French dish of slow cooked duck in its own fat. The end result is a super soft, tender and flavourful meat that can be used in a multitude of dishes.

Beans are a natural pairing. The subtle taste of the cabbage, with the robust flavour of the meat, makes this a comfort food for the locals in my village of Capestang.

The key to the success of this soup is organic local ingredients. I scan the open air markets for the Biological traders. I like to find the ugliest carrots and potatoes for my soup, the ones that are anything but the perfect supermarket vegetables, they are not going to win ‘best in show’ but they are definitely not genetically modified.

I leave the skin on my potatoes and carrots for extra nutrients. being organic, I know i don’t have to worry about pesticides. I give them a good scrub, cut them into pieces and call it day.

I cored the cabbage to clean, it placed it face down in salty water in the sink. All the little critters floated to the top. I then broke the leaves apart with my hands. and rinsed them, and sliced them for the soup. If the bugs like it, I know I sure will.

Ingredients:

  • 2 duck confit
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3-4 garlic
  • 4 carrots bite sized pieces
  • 2 litres of chicken stock
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 can navy beans
  • 1 savoy cabbage cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs. thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Warm duck confit in pan. Here in France you can buy them at Lidl for 3€ already cooked to perfection in its own fat. But, if you don’t have that privilege here is a recipe to make it from scratch. I added in some duck fat I already had in the fridge to , but if you don’t have any, use bacon fat and keep the bacon for the top when serving.
  2. Brown onions and garlic
  3. Add in carrots and saute for a few minutes
  4. Add in all the herbs, and chicken stock. (bouillon cubes and water also works)
  5. Cook for 1 hour
  6. Take the meat off the bones and put back in the soup and discard the rest. I even eat the fat, gross I know, but I can’t help myself. I have this theory since eating meat again to utilize every part of an animal. After all, the duck gave up his life for this divine meal.  Duck is one of the only fats that doesn’t raise your cholesterol, so manger!
  7. Add in beans, potatoes and cabbage, and cook for another 30 minutes until veggies are soft
  8. Serve with crusty bread

Et voila! The best part, my kids ate it!

Rouladen German Rolled Beef

 

Rouladen is a traditional German meal that I make once a year for Alfonz’s birthday. The subtle sour of the pickle, mixed with the thick gravy and soft spaetzle, if the perfect winter comfort food. And for me, red cabbage goes with any meat!  YUM!

If you think the pickle is gross, roll it without or add in mushrooms o whatever you like. Before I tried it, I would never have though to cook a pickle, but those Germans are pretty smart…

Ingredients serves 8:

  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices beef top round steak 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 strips of bacon
  • 8 large pickles
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • fresh chopped parsley
how to make rouladen
assembling the rouladen
roll up your rouladen
roll the ingredients into the sliced beef
brown your beef in a pan
Fry your rouladen in the pan

Method:

  1. Spread mustard on each slice of steak, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 1 bacon strip and a spoonful of onion wedges on each slice. Place pickle on one end and roll up and secure with toothpicks.
  2. In a large skillet, brown beef in oil until no longer pink.
  3. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.
  4. Remove meat from skillet
  5. To make the gravy, combine flour and water until smooth. Bring broth to a strong boil, and stir flour mixture into the skillet while whisking or constantly stirring until thick. Turn down stove to low.
  6. Remove toothpicks and return the meat to the gravy and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Serve with cabbage and spaetzle (or pasta)

nokedli

Spaetzel

You need a Spaetzel maker

  • 1-cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup water

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl with a fork until the consistency is a little thicker than pancake mix. Adjust water and flour until you get a smooth, lump free batter.
  2. Place device over a pot of boiling salted water, and ladle in your mixture, and start moving the top back and forth so the mixture cuts the dough as it falls into the boiling water below. Keep doing in until the mixture is done, with a wooden spoon; stir the nokedli so it doesn’t stick. Once they are floating they are done. Drain in a strainer like you would pasta.
cabbage german style
traditional Cabbage

Cabbage

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored & grated
  • 3-5 tbsp red cidar vinegar (but any will do in a pinch)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. saute onions until soft
  2. add in all the ingredients and simmer until tender

 

Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup

 pumpkinsAutumn in the Languedoc where I live brings beautiful pumpkins and squash in a variety of colour and shapes. Here we follow the 100 mile rule, and eat only the local products and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

2015 pumpkinsFor Halloween we carve jack o’lanterns from the big bright orange variety, which you can find all over the world. However, here they are marked as non-edible and local producers only grown them for the few Anglophones that live in the area who celebrate the spooky holiday. Normally, they use a great deal of pesticides to keep them perfect for the very small clientele, and we pay a pretty penny compared to the organic native varieties. 

The ones I like to use for this recipe are a darker orange coloured ones, although the exact same size and shape as the traditional Halloween pumpkins, they have a meatier flesh, and a rich flavour, perfect for my new favourite soup, Thai coconut pumpkin soup.

Cooking time 1-2 hours roasting pumpkin, 60 minutes for soup

Curry Powder from Scratch

  1. 1  tbsp cumin
  2. 1 tbsp coriander
  3. 1-2 dried hot chilies (more if you want to hotter)
  4. 4 cloves
  5. 2 cinnamon sticks
  6. 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  7. 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

In a pan gently roast all the spices listed above, let cool and then grind. Add in 1 tbsp turmeric to your curry powder (note I added the black pepper here, but you can easily add it to the dish itself)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pumpkin, (3-5lbs) cut in half with seeds and pulp removed
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 inch cube peeled & grated ginger or 1 tablespoon ground
  • 1 1/2 litres vegetable stock
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 250 grams sour cream
  • Parsley or cilantro, for garnish

Method:

Step #1 Place your pumpkin face up on a baking pan, with a little water in the middle and in the bottom of the pan. Bake for 1-2 hours at 400°F/200°C  until completely cooked through. Note the skin might turn brown, no worries, we will not be eating it today.

Scoup out the flesh and place into your stock pot.

Step #2 In a skillet, heat your oil, and add your onions until golden. Add in your garlic and curry powder. Once completely browned, add to your stock pot.

Step #3 Add in your stock and coconut milk then simmer on medium- low for about an hour.

Step #4 With your hand blender mix until smooth

Step #5 Add in your sour cream just before serving, but you could save on calories and add a dollop on the top of each bowl instead

Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley and serve with crusty warm bread.

Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Who Am I? Eva HAMORI

Eva Hamori Bio Photo.jpgI am a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, a traveller, a writer, a teacher, a singer, a volunteer, a gardener, and also at least once a day a cook.

This website started as a way of me sharing my Nagymama’s recipes, all those comforting love filled dishes my Hungarian grandmother used to make. I never had the recipe written down for my family and friends, we would get together and I would show them. A pinch of this or a handful of that, it should look like this… I never used measurements. I had to find a way for them to survive, and not end with me.

I love creating things in my kitchen and sharing the recipes. Travel, Eat, Repeat is an offshoot of our far more popular blog That’s Hamori. On here are the recipes I like the most. The ones that don’t turn out don’t make it on this page.  Whenever we travel to a new country and try new foods, unique flavours, spices and herbs, I come home to recreate the dishes. It is a hobby that gives this very busy lady, a break to enjoy her passion. Food. If I love you, I will cook for you.

We follow a simple rule when it comes to cooking. Buy the best quality available, and the freshest ingredients you can find. We buy locally grown those heritage heirloom varieties which are unique to our area. Those seasonal fruits and veggies that grow wild in our climate; we pick off the trees and bushes, pull herbs and berries and we incorporate them into our daily meals.

Gluttony is by far my favourite sin.

Fast Chinese Chicken Chow Mein

Living in France, some flavours are harder to recreate than others. When living in Vancouver, we had a huge Asian population, so not only were ingredients readily available, but you could always ask a friend what the dish is supposed to taste like. Restaurants on every corner, was a luxury of my past metropolitan city life. Now, I search the Languedoc markets for flavours to help recreate some of the at home favourites.

 

 

restaurant style chow mein
chinese chicken chow mein

Recreating take-out style Chinese is easier than ever before.

The key to this recipe is to have everything ready before hand, and simply combine the ingredients in your Wok or pot.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup cooked chicken (leftover BBQ chicken works great)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 500 grams pre-cooked chow mein noodles

Method

  1. sauté your onions and garlic
  2. add in your celery, carrots, chicken and sprouts sauté 5 minutes
  3. add in your noodles and mix together
  4. add in your broth, soy and fish sauces

Tip: Daniel wanted a scrambled egg in his chow mein which was a big hit with the children. Instead of using chow mein noodles, we used up a package of Japanese soba noodles we had in the house, and I added sliced almonds. 

You can add in slivers of cabbage sautéed after the onions, green beans, mushrooms, and green onions for variations on this recipe. Also try beef, shrimp or tofu instead of chicken.

Easy Chinese Chicken Chow Mein
use your favorite noodles for chow mein