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Chowder off!

clam-chowder-with-bacon.jpgThe great chowder debate: creamy or tomato-based? Julie van Rosendaal weighs in. Click on READ MORE for the recipes.

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Sausage, Corn, Potato and Cheddar Chowder (with or without Shrimp)

1 spicy Italian sausage
canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cumin
3 cups chicken stock or water
1-2 potatoes, diced
1 can sweet kernel corn
1 cup milk or 1/2 cup half & half (or to taste)
1 cup grated old cheddar or Gouda (optional)
Salt and pepper

Squeeze the sausage out of its casing into a medium saucepan that has been drizzled with oil and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, breaking the meat up, until onion is translucent and the sausage is cooked.

Add the flour and cumin and cook, stirring, for another minute. Stir in the broth, add the potatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Stir in the corn, and the milk or cream if you're using it, and allow the chowder to return to a gentle simmer. Don't let it boil, or the milk may curdle. Add the cheese and stir just until it melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

I added a half jar (about 1/2 cup) of bruschetta from my fridge, along with some leftover tomato sauce. Adapted from Gourmet.

canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 celery stalks, chopped (with leaves)
3-4 slices prosciutto, pancetta or bacon, chopped
1 small red or orange pepper, chopped
2 medium thin-skinned potato, scrubbed and diced
1 14 oz (398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juice (or an equal quantity of bruschetta and/or tomato sauce
1 can baby clams, with their liquid
chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a medium pot, heat a drizzle of oil and cook the onion, celery and prosciutto over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft; add the pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the potato, tomatoes and a cup of water and bring to a simmer; cook for 15 minutes, or until the potato is tender.

Stir in clams with their juices and heat through. Serve hot. Serves 4.

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