Chowder Slam, Bacon Slam, There a Slam, Here a Slam, Everywhere a Slam Slam

What’s left to be slammed?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not putting down slams.  After all, I have been to four, and I am going to another in five days.

I’ve been wanting to write a recap of Saturday’s  Chowder Slam, but I made a big dinner last night (my brother’s birthday), and I have had no time to post.   I am new to blogging, and can’t figure out how everyone else finds so much time to write. What the hell is going on?  Has blogging replaced reading a good book before you go to bed? Anyhow, here’s my recap…

I was looking forward to the Chowder Slam, the first slam on this side of the river and walking distance from my home.  It was at Jimmy’s No. 43 and it was for a good cause, The New Amsterdam Market.  It had a small roster of entrants, which was nice. I could not imagine trying 50 different chowders, I do not care how good they might be, you would feel like throwing up after a while.  Anyway, my chowder table was set up next to the nicest people, Erynn and Gideon (excuse me if the spelling is off). It would be so much easier if everyone was named by Gwyneth Paltrow, I could say instead: My table was set up next to the nicest people, Grapefruit and Water, you should meet them. Digressing….

I was concerned about my entry, I hadn’t made chowder in years. I realize I worked as a cook in Maine, but we never made chowder. That was saved for the tourist traps, if you considered yourself a real restaurant in Maine: NO CHOWDER. Let the people with fanny packs eat elsewhere. So, I had planned to do a corn curry chowder with lamb belly. I got most of my ingredients from the farmers market, but the base was corn…ahem, it is not exactly corn season. I was fine with that until the Thursday before the event, I was reading the rules – they said the chowder should be “seasonal.” Well,  frozen corn is always in season,  if seasonal means available. But then I had second thoughts. This was a fund raiser for the New Amsterdam Market after all, I thought seasonal was the only option for me.  After I arrived, I realized everyone has a different definition of seasonal.

The Silence of the Clams

The Silence of the Clams

So Friday I changed to a Parsnip, Potato, Curry Chowder with Lamb Belly (a.k.a. “Silence of the Clams: the untold story of curry lamb belly chowder”).  It was good, because I wanted to use a different technique. Have you ever wanted to give somebody your soup, but you puree the potatoes in your soup and it turns it gummy? I’ve been there – here is the solution: Cook the potatoes until just soft in some stock, strain and reserve the stock to use in the soup. It will give the soup some extra body, and you can add the potatoes to soup after you have made it. I think the soup came out very well.

As I arrived, my new rival was already there…Nick. He is a very nice guy, so it is hard to really call him a rival. But, I still want to win. I was impressed by his decision to not take the easy way out – he did a good job making lobster stock. I thought Erynn did a nice job too, hard to believe hers had no dairy in it.  And now for the results….

Well, I won damn it. The Land Chowder Award. I have now won four competitions in a row. Yes, I know Nick won the popular vote, but who knew he had such a big family? Just kidding…we are all winners in our own minds, like it should be.   For more chowder coverage and pics, check out Cathy”s Chowder Slam Results.

Now it is time to go cure some pork belly and make some bacon for the very big, very scary Bacon Slam (actually it is called the Bacon Takedown).  There is no rest for the weary…

1 Response to “Chowder Slam, Bacon Slam, There a Slam, Here a Slam, Everywhere a Slam Slam”

  1. 1 Laine March 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I want to try The Silence of the Clams!! (But probably without the poster of the clam-mouthed lamb staring at me.) It sounds so delicious.

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