Make Seattle's Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Lynn, Rebecca M., Alma and 3 others

For many people, clam chowder in sourdough bread is a fantastic comfort food. Rich and creamy, it just brings back a lot of memories from your mom's kitchen during your childhood. Perhaps it's safe to say that Seattle has come up with one of the best versions of this delectable dish. If you want to know how to make your own version of Seattle Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl, here is one recipe for you.

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There's no way to make the perfect clam chowder; it really depends on your preference. You can modify the ingredients as often as you like, and it will still taste good. For instance, some people like to use fresh clams, but using canned can be just as good. Pancetta can also be used as an alternative to pork. Perhaps one thing that doesn't change is the rich and thick consistency of this recipe.

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The Classic Recipe


For this recipe, you will need:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • ½ cup pancetta, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp. rock salt
  • 1 tsp. chicken bouillion
  • 2 diced potatoes
  • 2 cans of clams(drained)
  • Black pepper(freshly ground)
  • Parsley (chopped for garnishing)
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How to Cook:

  1. 1
    Preheat your pan over medium heat and put in the olive oil.
    Throw in the onions and sauté for five minutes, followed by the pancetta. Allow to cook for a few minutes more, remove from heat and set aside.
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  2. 2
    Place the butter in the pot and add the flour once it's melted.
    Mix well. Give it about five minutes on medium high heat to cook, then start adding the milk, a small amount at a time so the sauce won't get lumpy.
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  3. 3
    Continuously add the milk slowly, making sure it's fully absorbed before pouring more in until everything is added.
    If lumps are persistently forming, a whisk or stick blender can easily fix this for you. Pour in the water and the clam's liquid you drained from their cans.
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  4. 4
    Put in a little bit of salt, followed by the onion, potatoes, and pancetta.
    Over low heat, allow it to simmer, continuously stirring to make sure the bottom part doesn't stick or burn.
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  5. 5
    When the potatoes are cooked, throw in the clams and parsley and give it a few minutes more.
    Taste to check if there's enough salt then add in some freshly ground pepper. Remove from heat.
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  6. 6
    Just when you're about to serve, remove the top and middle part of the sourdough bread to make it look like a bowl.
    1. Heat it up in the oven for a few minutes to turn the crust super crispy.
    2. Put a generous amount of chowder into the bread bowl.
    3. You'll be surprised how thick and creamy it still is even without using cream.
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Explore the Variations

This recipe can have endless variations. There are those who love white clam chowder. Others use halibut and shrimp or salmon, infused with chunks of potatoes and salmon. The key is to try to keep the perfect balance between this main course and side dishes to compliment the delicious taste and texture you will truly enjoy.

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Here are other side dishes you may want to try:

  1. 1
    It is perfect with a salad.
    A fresh, chilled salad makes an excellent appetizer for your rich, creamy, hot soup and the contrast it brings to your chowder is great. Sautéed asparagus, leeks along with a tomato vinaigrette will work just as well for your potato or shrimp chowder.
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  2. 2
    Balance it with vegetables.
    To make a balanced meal, you can also serve veggies such as pepper sticks or carrot sticks that give out a lovely vibrant color, in contrast to your white chowder. Arrange it in a clear glass bowl. You can also serve potato wedges or fries with a green veggie salad topped with vinaigrette.
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  3. 3
    Watch your carbs and starches.
    Crackers are great to go with a rich seafood chowder recipe. If you're using a bouillabaisse, a French bread's crustiness will do the trick to help you sop up the liquid. For the corn chowder, on the other hand, biscuits or corn fritters are a great pair. Those who are using oysters and shrimp will love garlic bread to neutralize the spiciness of the chowder.
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  4. 4
    A perfect dessert finale.
    This delectable meal won't be complete without the perfect dessert.  
    1. You may want to try out some custard or pudding that gives you an excellent texture to contrast the chowder. Others prefer a pumpkin pie or apple cake.
    2. The good thing is, it goes well with almost anything!
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TIPS and TRICKS when preparing your Meal Plan

  1. 1
    Make light and mild side dishes.
    Choose side dishes with mild flavor and light enough not to overpower the clams. Keep it nice and simple so each side dish and the main course itself will have a unique flavor to it.
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  2. 2
    Don't be afraid to experiment.
    You'll never know what does and doesn't taste good until you give it a try. Who knows, you may even come up with a better, more delicious recipe than the one you have previously made.
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  3. 3
    Potatoes or veggies?
    Make it really filling by serving big chunks of potatoes, if you prefer it that way.  
    1. But if you want a lighter version of the meal, you can add more veggies and fewer potatoes and clams.
    2. Whether you plan your broth to be milk-based or creamier by half-and-half or choose to go with a splash of color by using tomatoes in the dish, is perfectly okay.
    3. Some don't even use potatoes and prefer celery to add to this recipe.
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  4. 4
    Only use freshly baked bread.
    No matter how good your innovative chowder recipe is, stale, old bread can ruin the entire experience for you.  
    1. So don't forget to buy new every time you serve this. Baguettes, sourdough, or bread slices topped with butter tastes heavenly with the chowder.
    2. Crackers and biscuits are nice if you wish to go light while those who want a heavy, rich meal may choose to have cornbread or muffins instead.
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  5. 5
    Experiment with other side dishes.
    Other side dishes you may want to try are hush puppies because these also go well with almost any type of clam chowder.  
    1. A fried chickpea flour patty, known as panisse, is also great, especially because it's mixed with different spices and cheese.
    2. Steamed veggies, like asparagus, cauliflower or broccoli, glazed with brown sugar, once topped with your favorite cheese (preferably Parmesan), also works well.
    3. Fresh fruits are another alternative such as strawberries, watermelon, pears or peaches, to cool things down after that thick, hot, creamy chowder meal.
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Making your own version of Seattle's Clam Chowder in Sourdough Bread Bowl is not as difficult or intimidating as you think. All you need is a bit of an imagination and the desire to explore fun and new ways to make this already awesome dish even better. Happy eating!

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Questions and Answers

How to heat up a bread bowl for clam chowder?

Jmgf Bread Bowls.jpg

To heat up the bread bowl, turn the oven on to about 350 degrees. Leave the pan heating in the oven as the temperature increases, and heat the bread bowl for approximately 15 minutes, depending on how long it takes for the oven to heat up and for the bread bowl to turn golden brown. Check the bread in the oven from time to time to see if the color is right.

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You could try a short time in the microwave, set it over top of the toaster while its on, or put it in the oven on a low temp like 150-200 degrees for a short time.

Where can I get the sourdough bowls?

Where can I get the sourdough bowls?

It's rarely sold in supermarkets. Instead, you can make them at home. The recipe for that is rather easy, as it is very similar to how you would make a pie crust. Even better is the fact that you can even add some extra flavors, depending on the flavor of your clam chowder.

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You can also do different shapes and sizes. All you have to do is select the bowl that you would be using.


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Categories : Meats & Main Dishes

Recent edits by: Eng, Jmgf, Alma

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