Jul 17, 2010

new england chowder

On Saturday Nights we eat 'local' - in other words, we eat American or Mexican or, if there is such a thing, Canadian. If anyone knows of any Canadian-based food, lmk.

Tonight I made something Mikel has been requesting for a while, but I haven't been able to make because of the lack of oyster mushrooms at my local market. Luckily, there are times when I will be able to order if from my CSA. Mikel was very grateful that I did not substitute for the oysters - they are his favorite - and the only mushroom he likes. Luckily, if you are not a fan of fungus, you may replace them with anything, really - roasted corn, roasted peppers, turnips, seitan, baked tofu, cauliflower, the list goes on.   

The soup is thickened with arrowroot - which is not only better for you but is also a more stable thickener than cornstarch. I made homemade stock to which I added some seaweed, too. I seasoned the soup with Old Bay, Tabasco, Worchestire sauce, salt and pepper.

When I was growing up, my parents owned a seafood restaurant and this was one of those dishes that I really loved, but couldn't really have; we weren't well off and the clams were for the paying customers.

Everyone loved this (but Cat) and serving it in a bread bowl adds mightily to the appeal.

Cost Breakdown:
mushrooms: $5
bread: $5
almond milk: $1
homemade stock: $.75
onion, garlic, pepper, spices: $1
Tabasco, arrowroot, worshech...sauce: $1
potatoes: $2
Total to impress 5 people:
Total to make 6 servings without bread bowls:


  1. what a clever idea...using seaweed and old bay for the "idea" of a seafood chowder. I do something similar to barley with poultry seasoning to make my mealess chicken salad. I am deathly allergic to anything that comes out of the ocean so I don't eat seaweed either but its still a totally great idea!

  2. I feel a lot of the 'seafood chowder' taste/texture is really from the oyster mushrooms and Old Bay. The seaweed is great as long as you like (or are not allergic to) it.

    Thank you, JillyAn. I love that you are here commenting :)

  3. Our Canadian friends wax nostalgic and eloquent about french fried potatoes in gravy. I'm sure a vegan version is doable. Also, Canadians use maple syrup creatively. For more information you can always google Canadian or Canada recipes. In our house we have food from a different country every Friday night for Shabbat dinner. We go through the alphabet. Canada isn't as exotic as some of the other "C" countries, but it's good sold food. I'm finding your ideas a great resource.

  4. Imadden42,

    Thank you for your ideas (I knew they were out there :) and your encouragement by way of your interest in my blog. I knew there might be some traditional Canadian foods out there; I appreciate the fire under my blog to search them out.

  5. Did you buy the bread bowls or make them? I love bread bowls but have never seen them available for purchase.

  6. Bought them. They are just smaller versions of a round loaf. Once you hollow them out, spray or brush the inside with oil and bake them in the oven on 350 for 5 minutes or so. That will kind of seal them and make them more impervious to the liquid. Panera Bread should also have them for sale. I got mine at a Safeway/Dominicks store because Whole Foods was out.

    If you want to make them, just take any Italian or French bread recipe and make smallish round loaves. When they proof they almost double in size and they will be just right. Let me know if you need a recipe.

  7. You always cook things that I've been thinking about. My boyfriend loves these, once the weather cools down, I want to try making this. Yours looks too good!

  8. Wow...this looks great. We LOVE mushrooms, too and I'm really looking forward to making this! Thanks!


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu