Monday, September 17, 2012

Cooking to Knit (Or Veg Out) By: Seems Like a Good Time for This One...

As usual these days I'm a day late and more than a dollar short on this "most weeks" post.

Since fall is here, and winter approaches, it's time to gear up the old Le Creuset french oven for a season of soups, stews and general what-have-yous.

To start it off, I have chosen a recipe near and dear to most tourists' and many islanders' hearts - the Black Dog Tavern Quahog Chowder. It helps when it's served in the Tavern's famous thick, white mugs (which you can order online hint, hint), but any bowl will do, really. And you don't really need to live near the ocean to make this yummy soup.

But of course this is no ordinary chowder. First off, it has won many rounds of many Chowder contests. And, it has won many years of "best of the Vineyard" chowder.

More than that, though, it is a bit... magical. An elixir that will warm your bones (and your heart) on a rainy/snow-laden/Yankee-Clipper-Cold day. You have only to breathe in the first heady tones of the salty sea vapors to reclaim your vigor/bearing/solace for all things island and sea related.

Or maybe it just tastes good.

Either way it's a win-win for you.

From the Black Dog's Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook: Quahog Chowder.

black dog quahog chowder

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Definitely a decadent and creamy clam chowder. There won't be a drop left!


2 ounces salt pork, rind removed (or bacon) & diced
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
3 cups diced red potatoes (keep skin on)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups shelled quahogs with juice (about 6 pounds in shell) - or sub 4 cans chopped clams
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 quarts whipping cream


1. Sauté salt pork or bacon in a large pot until translucent.
2. Add the onions and celery and sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Pour in about 1 1/2 cups of the juice from the quahogs (or clams) and add potatoes and seasonings. If using canned clams, purchase extra clam juice to supplement for needed juice.
4. Simmer this mixture until potatoes are tender. This should take about 10 minutes.
5. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When it is bubbling, add the flour and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. This is called a roux, prounced "rue."
6. Roughly chop the quahogs, reserving any liquid (or just use fresh or canned chopped clams).
7. When the potatoes are tender, add quahogs (or clams) to the large pot and simmer for 2 minutes.
8. Stir in the roux and continue simmering for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. This is your chowder base.
9. In a separate saucepan, scald the cream by heating it until small bubble appear around the edges of the pan. Do not boil.
10. Stir the hot scalded cream into the chowder base, mix together, and remove from heat.
11. At The Black Dog, they serve this soup with a dollop of butter, accompanied by oyster crackers or crusty bread.


*You may sub clams for quahogs.
*To prepare this soup as GLUTEN FREE, just make sure that you use a brand of bacon that is designated as GF, and sub GF flour for the all-purpose.
Source: (Adapted from The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook), via

Have a Yummy One. :)


  1. I'm a huge chowder fan so will definitely add this recipe to my soup cook book!

  2. cooking and knitting are a great combo, any day! you don't have to pick one or the other LOL.

    I love my slow cooker for this reason.

    Happy Week, G

  3. So true, lol! I usually post these recipes on Sundays, and they do include slow cookers because I agree, that is my go-to food equipment for this house. Stop by!

  4. Evelyn, thanks for stopping by! This is such a good recipe, and it is truly doable at home.

  5. I can't wait to make this - this was a favorite to order when we went to The Black Dog. Actually, I think I have this cookbook! Got to go rummage through my books. I'm curious to know how you are enjoying life on The Vineyard; sounds like you have settled in nicely and I'm sure there are always people to knit with.

  6. I love it! I thought I would be looking to get off the Rock, but it turns out, someone usually has to make me, lol! I am exploring all different kinds of knitting groups and the Fiber Folks, too. The Heath Hen yarn store is just starting up with a group that looks very promising - of course any place that people gather to knit is very promising!

    Thanks for stopping by, Carol.