Newport (RI) to Newport (CA) Chowder serves 4 to 6
½ lb bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup clam juice
2 ½ lbs live cherrystone or littleneck clams (or 1lb chopped canned clams)
1 quart whole milk
1 ½ lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp fresh Dill, chopped
Oyster crackers, for serving
Combine bacon and ¼ cup water in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until water has evaporated and pork has begun to brown and crisp in spots, about 8 minutes. Add butter, onion, and celery. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened but not browned, about 4 minutes longer. Add clam juice or water and stir to combine.
Add the whole clams and increase heat to high. Cover and cook, opening lid to stir occasionally, until clams begin to open, about 3 minutes. When clams open, remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl, keeping as many juices in the pot as possible and keeping the lid shut as much as possible. Discard any clams that have not yet begun to open.
Add milk, potatoes, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and starting to break down, about 15 minutes.
Remove meat from inside the clams and roughly chop them. Discard the shells. Transfer the chopped clams and as much juice as possible to a fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Let clams drain, then transfer chopped clams to a separate bowl. Set both bowls aside.
Once the potatoes are tender, pour the entire mixture through the fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the clam juice tapping the strainer with the back of a knife or a spoon to get all of the liquids to pass through. Transfer strained solids to the bowl with the chopped clams. You should end up with a white broth in the bowl, and the chopped clams, potatoes, bacon, and soffrito in the separate bowl.
Transfer the broth to a blender-or use an emersion blender-- and blend on high speed until smooth and emulsified, about 2 minutes. Combine liquid and solids back into the Dutch oven or stock pot. Add heavy cream and stir to combine. Reheat until simmering. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with drawn butter, dill and oyster crackers. Offer Tabasco.
Lime Caesar Dressing about 2 cups
8cloves Garlic, chopped
1 tsp Pepper, Black
6ea Egg Yolks, room temp, preferably cage free
2tbl Dijon Mustard
1ea Lime, zested and juiced
4 ea Spanish White Anchovies
¼ lb Feta Cheese
1 tbl Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups Olive Oil or Olive/Canola Blend
To taste Sea Salt
Place in blender all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil (or you can do this with a burr mixer and bowl). Blend until liquefied. Gently emulsify the oil into the mixture. Taste and season with sea salt.
South of San Diego Caesar serves 4 to 6
4 heads Little Gems Lettuce or 2 ea Romaine Hearts
1-2 ea Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced
5-6 ea Radishes, sliced
4ea Green Onions, sliced
½ cup Cilantro Leaves
2 tbl Capers, Fried
8ea Spanish White Anchovies
¼ cup Shaved Parmesan
½- 1 cup Lime Caesar Dressing (Recipe follows)
1-2 cups Brioche Croutons
As needed Sea Salt and Pepper
Rinse the Lettuce and chop. Line the bottom of the serving bowl with the sliced Heirloom Tomatoes, then place all the ingredients into mixing bowl with the Dressing except the anchovies, capers, and croutons. Place the mixed salad on top of the leaves, and then garnish with the anchovies, capers, croutons, and Parmesan Cheese.
Recipes courtesy of Chef Cathy Pavlos