Make Seattle's Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Lynn, Rebecca M., Alma and 5 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 you're going to fall in love with.

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There's no way to make the perfect clam chowder; because it all depends on your individual preferences. You can modify the ingredients as often as you like, add things, take things away, and it will still be great, and made according to your tastes. 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

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For This Recipe, You Will Need:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • ½ cup pancetta, cut into small pieces (Italian cured pork belly)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp. rock salt
  • 1 tsp. chicken bouillion cubes
  • 2 diced potatoes
  • 2 cans of clams (drained - but saving the juice you'll need it later)
  • Black pepper(freshly ground)
  • Parsley (chopped for garnishing)
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AND DON'T FORGET: A CRISP SOURDOUGH BREAD'

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Instructions for Making the Chowder:

  1. 1
    Preheat your pan over medium heat and add the olive oil
    .
    Throw in the onions and sauté for five minutes.
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  2. 2
    Add the pancetta
    .
    Allow to cook for a few minutes and remove from heat. Set aside.
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  3. 3
    Melt the butter in a pot.
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  4. 4
    Once the butter has melted, slowly add the flour, stirring vigorously as you add it
    .
    #Heat it for about five minutes on medium high heat to cook.
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  5. 5
    Add the milk slowly, a small amount at a time, stirring as you add it, so the sauce won't get lumpy
    .
    If lumps are persistently forming, a whisk or stick blender will fix this easily.
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  6. 6
    Add the water and the clam liquid you drained from the cans.
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  7. 7
    Add a little bit of salt.
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  8. 8
    Add the onions, pancetta and potatoes
    .
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  9. 9
    Over low heat, allow it to simmer, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom or burn.
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  10. 10
    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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  11. 11
    Just when you're about to serve, remove the top and middle part of the sourdough bread to make it look like a bowl
    .
    In the Middle Ages, using bread for a bowl was called a trencher.  
    1. Heat it up in the oven for a few minutes to turn the crust super crispy.
    2. When the bread it done, fill the "bowl" with a generous amount of chowder into the bread bowl.
    3. You'll be surprised how thick and creamy it is - 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 find 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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Side Dishes That Go Well With Chowder

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 them in a clear glass bowl.
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  3. 3
    You can also serve potato wedges or fries with a green veggie salad topped with vinaigrette
    .
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  4. 4
    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 pairing. Those who are using oysters and shrimp will love garlic bread to neutralize the spiciness of the chowder. Bread isn't recommended, however, if you're serving the chowder in the bread bowl. The idea is to eat the bowl as you go.
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  5. 5
    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. Something cooling, like sorbet or frozen yogurt with berries would be lovely.
    3. The good thing is, it goes well with almost anything!
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Tips and Tricks When Preparing Your Meal Plan

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  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 all its own.
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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 any you've 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. If you want a lighter version of the meal, you can add more veggies and fewer potatoes and clams.
    2. Some don't even use potatoes and prefer celery to add to this recipe.
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  4. 4
    Whether you plan your broth to be milk-based or creamier using half-and-half or choose to go with a splash of color by using tomatoes in the dish, is perfectly okay
    .
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  5. 5
    Only use freshly baked bread
    .
    No matter how good your innovative chowder recipe is, stale, old bread can ruin the entire experience for you and those you're serving.  
    1. Don't forget to buy new bread 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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  6. 6
    Experiment with other side dishes
    .
    One suggestion for a side dish you might want to try is 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?

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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 frequently, as it doesn't take long for bread to be over-done. You're looking for the color to be golden brown.

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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.

Most grocery stores have their own in-store bakeries. Most of them also have loaves of bread baked in different shapes and sized of bread.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Meats & Main Dishes

Recent edits by: Nuance, Jen M, Eng

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