Chef Becky’s Potato Chowder

The past two summer days here in the Northwest have been, well, chilly. What do we eat when it’s cool outside. Soup. This chowder is the ultimate comfort food, in my opinion, it is full of flavor, simple to prepare and makes one gallon of soup. Usually one gallon would be plenty to serve my what-is-getting-to-be-normal sized family of six for two meals, but someone (ahem, my only brother at home) came home hungry.

So for dinner the following night, I stretched what soup remained (about four cups) with additional milk and cream. Ev cooked me up one red potato and Mom had an extra piece of salmon cooked up, so I added them in along with some corn and some cooked broccoli to turn it into a sort of salmon chowder. It turned out to be delicious!

This is my most-made recipe from my time at Sno-Isle’s Le Bistro.

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Chef Becky’s Potato Chowder
Ingredients:
8 oz bacon, finally chopped, (I usually just use the entire package)
1 lb onions, brunoise (1/8″ cubes)
4 oz all-purpose flour
2 quarts chicken stock
2 1/2 lbs potatoes, small dice (1/4″ cubes)
1 quart milk, hot,
1 quart heavy cream, hot (I usually don’t use the full amount of cream. Start with 3 cups)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Worcestershire sauce, to taste

Directions:
In a stock pot, over medium heat, cook the bacon until most of the fat has rendered, but before bacon becomes crisp.
Add onions and cook until tender. Add flour and make a roux, cooking for 4-5 minutes.
Whisk in the chicken stock slowly and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, bring stock down to a simmer. Add potatoes and simmer until tender.
Add hot milk and cream, stirring to blend.
Add seasoning, adjusting as necessary.

Makes 1 gallon
Corn Chowder Variation:
Reduce potatoes to 2 lbs. Add 2 lbs of frozen corn when potatoes are tender.

Salmon Chowder Variation:
Use combination of redand russet potatoes, add corn and cooked salmon to completed chowder.

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Meatball Bombs

Tried this recipe for dinner last night. We didn’t have any toothpicks, so I made do with some wooden skewers. I also ran out of bacon, so I stretched two pieces per bomb rather than three. All the seasonings I winged because I was far too lazy to actually look up proper meatloaf seasonings. Basically your favorite meatloaf recipe will work. I did butter crisp oven potatoes with it. The original recipe called for BBQ sauce baked on top, but I totally forgot and I don’t think it needed it.

 

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Meatloaf Bombs

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
Salt
Pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Garlic or onion powder
3 onions
1 package bacon
Toothpicks (necessary)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9×13″ pan with foil.
Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, cheese and egg together. Season. I just winged the seasoning, it’s not exact, just don’t be super shy. Ground beef needs a decent amount of seasoning to give flavor.
Cut tops and bottoms off of the onions. Cut in half from top to bottom. Peel the individual layers off for the until you reach the small inner layers. Put small handfuls in each half onion, place the matching piece on top to close. Wrap with 2-3 pieces of bacon and use toothpicks to hold in place.
Place in prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Once cooked, I thought about crisping up the bottoms in a hot pan on the stove, but I didn’t

Optional, spread bbq sauce over top and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

I’ve seen versions of these that had cubes of cheese inside the meatloaf. I’ll have to try that next.