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Bainbridge Island Chunky Clam Chowder

Bainbridge Island Chunky Clam Chowder


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This sweet and smoky chowder, garnished with charred corn on the cob, is the perfect addition to any summertime meal....

Bainbridge Island Chunky Clam Chowder

This sweet and smoky chowder, garnished with charred corn on the cob, is the perfect addition to any summertime meal. It’s colorful, flavorful, and fresh.

Recipe courtesy of chef Cindy Hutson. Reprinted with permission from her cookbook, From The Tip of My Tongue.

Ingredients

  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large Walla Walla onion (or other sweet variety), diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup brunoised celery
  • 1 ½ Cup brunoised carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Cups diced new red-skin potatoes, skin on, washed and dried
  • 3 Cups clam broth (fresh or bottled)
  • 4 Pounds clams, rinsed and purged to remove sand
  • 8 Ounces chopped clams, canned or frozen
  • 3 Cups heavy cream
  • 1 Cup mashed potatoes
  • ¼ Cup chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 ears pan-charred corn

Razor Clam Chowder and a Day at the Beach

And a great weekend was had by all.  This is another verbose entry so get a cup of tea and settle in because I have a treat for you my cousin Teresa’s beach photos.

Razor clam digging can take a lot out of you so we started carbo loading first thing Saturday morning with my dad’s legendary cabin breakfast.

Dad’s pancakes are silky and rich and mouth melting thanks to the hefty swirl of bacon grease he adds to Krusteaz.  Served alongside steaming, grease slicked eggs  and crisp bacon … I need no other reason to get up in the morning.  My cousin Tim who felt a teensy bit left out of the Fred Meyer vs Safeway conversation swirling around the breakfast table offered his best money saving grocery tip:  buy beer at the store and drink it at home to save oodles in bar fees.  Love that guy.

Breakfast over and daddy daughter day commenced.  Ross took J and E kite shopping and dad took me to the hardware store where we got gutters and downspouts and this green accordion pipe thing to solve the soppy wet spot at the front of the cabin.  I love handing my dad tools as he does dad stuff high atop a ladder.

Soppy spot subdued and off for a walk on the beach where I froze but was nonetheless entranced by the thousands of tiny sandpipers racing the tide and the stark beachscape.

Once home, fortified with creamy cocoa and ample refills of whip cream we baptized the new fondue pot I scored at the local thrift store for three bucks.

Hard to improve on bread swirled in kirsch spiked cheese washed down with fresh pressed cider.

Thus fortified, we hit the beach.

Clam tides happen only once a month, only in the winter.  You'd think the combination of cold, dark, rain and the occasional snowstorm would keep all but hearty he-man types off the beach.

But no, clam tides attract thousands of clam lovers from kids to grandparents:

But it’s no cakewalk.  First you must obtain highly specialized equipment and attire.  There seem to be two sartorial schools of thought.  One group goes stealth with camo hip waders and matching neoprene jackets (I especially like the his and hers matching sets).  The opposite end is the barefoot tank topped gal with wild hair, flat on her belly probing a clam hole with her bare hands.  This is not me, I lie somewhere in between with blue daisy rain boots from Bay Hay  and my dad’s fleece lined raincoat. 

Next, you’ve got to have the right equipment. We dig with clam guns stainless steel tubes you press into the sand with a rocking motion.  They slice through the beach layers and if you’re lucky and skilled you come up with a clam on the first pull.

The thing you need to know is that razor clams don’t just lie there.  The second your clam gun hits the sand they start digging.  Take your time, worry about your manicure or get girly about sticking your hand into an eighteen inch hole filled with frigid sea water and your quarry high tails it.

The last one to limit gets a cheer squad and lots of help spotting the show the dimple in the sand that indicates a clam.

It’s then, when the whole group has limited and we prepare to leave the beach that we realize the true reward  the grandeur all around.  The Pacific ocean froths and swirls windswept trees arch along the ridge the sand shimmers with twilight.  Against the roar of the ocean migrating birds soar, calling their locations to each other much the way families up and down the beach keep track of their youngsters, bantering about who has the largest clam, who limited first and how many bowls of dad’s clam chowder we’re going to eat.

A great big thank you to my cousin Teresa Harpster, a very talented artist and photographer, for loaning me these wonderful photos.


CRUSCH IT

Clam chowder is an absolute NW staple. We have everything from Ivar’s to the small delicious restaurants of places like Ballard. That being said I have a few great ways to make a savory, creamy and positively hearty clam chowder my favorite being with razor clams from Long Beach Wa. We take a trip from Seattle down to Long Beach at least a few times a year. We call it a pilgrimage because it’s quite a trek but we always end up having the best time there and in Astoria where we always end up at Fort George Brewery for their exceptional beer and menu. Recently though my fiancée and I visited my parents at their house on Whidbey island. After a few beverages and some good laughs, we filled up a few red solo cups and took to the beach with their dog Baxter. My mom as you may not know adores sea glass so we were in a heated competition to find a piece of blue glass, the winner was going to be awarded a prized shot of Makers and the ultimate sea glass bragging right.

As we were scouring the beach and of course talking a big game we began to come across a few mahogany clams. My dad was telling us some of their neighbors grow them in bags and occasionally they break off and the clams or even oysters are sprinkled across the beach. We figured that had to be the case because a big storm had just past a night or two ago and they had all washed up with the tide. So we started another game of who could find the most (armed with shellfish licenses of course). While all the time still looking for that prized piece of sea glass and maintaining an eye on Baxter who to be honest is kind of handful. He doesn’t listen when distracted but his dopey, cute face makes it hard to get too annoyed with him. As it worked out we got around a pound and a half and Spencer my fiancée ended up winning the glass competition. So win win right?

When we returned, I had convinced the group to have clam chowder for dinner despite my mom’s extreme hesitation, this was due to a previous clam incident in which we cooked them in a beautiful white wine sauce and a small crab was living in coexistence with the clam in its shell. This made her visibly freaked out. We didn’t tell her there were several baby crabs in the pot when we cooked these clams.. soo shhhh.. she will actually throw up.

Mahogany is a great clam but you can use manilas which are much easier to come by or are like my mom and don’t like small invaders. Another option is to use canned clams, though if you choose this route make sure they are of good quality otherwise I think the flavor is lacking and becomes very umm I suppose low tide tasting. I suggest looking for clams packed just in water and maybe a little salt.

· 2 large red potatoes diced

· I carrot peeled and diced

· About 3 cups (homemade preferred) fish stock

· 1 t red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)

· Pinch of parmesan (optional)

Bones and skins of salmon (other fish work too this is just my preferred)

veg extras (skins, tops and leftover bits)

This recipe is pretty straight forward there’s just a few steps to prep all the veg and then you really just throw it all together and let it become bubbly, rich and delicious. If you are making the stock remember to throw all your veg scraps in a pot to boil with the bones and shells. It’s not required to make the stock you can buy it but it really does improve the flavor having your own. If you don’t have fish bones you can usually ask you butcher at the grocery store if they have any, they sometimes do and they are very inexpensive. For the stock just throw all your veg scraps, bones and shells in the pot (I even toss the lemon rinds in) then cover with water and let it simmer for at least an hour but the longer the better I boiled this one for two to extract all that great flavor.

Ok so, I start by chopping the garlic fine and the shallot as you would a normal onion just a small dice. The potatoes I don’t peel because I like the color and texture of the red skins. I try to dice them small and fairly uniform for ease of eating on a spoon and still getting lots of the other delicious bits on there too. For the carrots, I peel them and just rough chop them to around the same size I don’t care too much about perfect carrot squares in my chowder but if that’s your thing hey go for it and small dice them, it will make you feel happy eating those cute little cubes. Next is the celery. I chop them small and include the tender leave inside the celery as well. I slice the stalks length wise and then dice them up. I then just rough chop one bunch parsley minus the stems. After that set all your vegetables aside except for the garlic and the shallots. I begin by sweating those in a large stock pot. Melt a stick of butter on medium heat in the pot and then add the garlic and shallot. (mmm). I now like to put the flour in and stir the butter and garlic up in it to create a roux, which is essentially flour thickened in fat to create a thickener for the whole chowder. Let that come together until it begins to brown lightly. Next I put all the rest of the vegetables in, as well as the clam juice stir and let them cook for a few minutes while you steam or boil the clams. To do that simply put your live clams into a pot or steam them over a pot of boiling water until they open. Discard any that do not open. Then separate the clams from their shells and cut them up into the size you like in your chowder. I went for a medium fine chop. Throw those on in the pot as well. From here your stock should be close. So strain out the liquid and measure out about 3 cups and pour it in. I then add the cream, bay leaves, parsley, another stick of glorious butter (I never said this was healthy), the thyme and pepper flakes stir it all up. I wait till the end to add the salt and pepper because as the pot boils your chowder will be reducing to thicken and if you add the salt now it could be too salty. Let it boil 30-45 minutes stirring often to avoid sticking on the bottom. This will finish cooking the vegetables to tender and thicken up the chowder. Add more flour if you want it thicker just be sure to mix the extra flour with a fair amount of water to reduce the chances of flour lumps in your final product unless you like clam dumpling chowder. Funny story, we ran out of flour and all we had was some sourdough bread so I just cut it up small and let it dissolve in the pot. It thickened beautifully and had an added tang and depth. This is a trick I saw on the travel channel from Italy so I can’t really take to much creative license for that one. After its all thick add the salt and pepper to taste stir and ladle into a bowl. Garnish with chives and serve with bread or oyster cracks. Enjoy!


Pimentón Clams and Pig Face

This post is a shout-out to my friends on the tideflats. One of the benefits of this hobby is the opportunity to share my experiences with others keen to forage and cook wild foods—a recipe for good times in the outdoors, with fun people.

My shellfish classes, in particular, have escalated (perhaps as word has gotten out and each subsequent class is intent on besting the previous one) into veritable bacchanals. There’s something about working up a sweat on the tide flats and then whumping together a feast over campstoves that encourages plenitude: folks show up with champagne, beer, cheese, salumi, cookies, and other treats. We’ve had basement apple wine, home-cured sausage, and empanadas. There’s almost always a fillet or two of smoked salmon and recently someone brought bento boxes packed full of potstickers, barbecued pork, and candied almonds.

On the trail to the tidelands – (c) Susan Choi

The blueprint is simple. Everyone meets at the beach, where we make introductions and go over some key points of identification, biology, habitat, foraging technique, regulations, and precautions. Then we hit the shellfish beds to gather our limits of clams and oysters. The rest of the day is spent hanging out back at the picnic shelter, cooking our catch.

My co-leader, John Adams, manages Taylor Shellfish‘s Dosewallips facility. As a third-generation shellfish farmer, he also has his own family business, Sound Fresh Clams & Oysters, where he’s been making a name all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond for his Skookum Point oysters. Recently a writer from Bon Appetit dropped by to sample John’s stuff.

An oyster bed for bivalve dreams – (c) Susan Choi

John and I are fortunate to have Jeff Ozimek, outdoor programs coordinator at Bainbridge Island Parks & Rec, in our corner. Jeff is the mastermind behind all this fun, and Seattle Parks & Rec (if they ever have a budget windfall) would be smart to look across the pond to see what Jeff is doing to get his community outside interacting with the natural world.

For my part, after the clams have been dug and the oysters picked, I get to relax a little bit. Delegation carries the day as the students do the prepping and cooking. Usually there are a few who lead the charge. This past weekend Team France made Steamed Clams with Wine and Herbs while Team China filled a wok with Spicy Black Bean Clams. I watched, offering the occasional advice and encouragement. We all slurped oysters until we could eat no more.

We usually get a few “repeat offenders” at each class. This time around we were pleased to have back photographer Susan Choi, who graciously provided most of the photos for this post.

Even the rain couldn’t put a damper on the proceedings. John built a fire, the canopies went up, and we continued the feast. Finally, well past dark, the park security detail had to shoo us out. Everyone went home with plenty of shellfish.

Picking the right oyster: Does it have a deep pocket? – (c) Susan Choi

Pimentón Clams and Pig Face looks back to my new year’s resolution to cook more improvisationally. It’s a variation on Pasta alle Vongole, and a keeper. The pig face of the title, smoked jowl, is a lot like bacon, but try to find the jowl if you can because its mix of succulence and crispiness can’t be beat. Combined with the clams, smoked paprika, sweet red pepper, and some white wine, the resulting sauce makes for a distinctively Iberian way to dress up pasta.

I’ve made steamed clam dishes that hail from all over the world. Italian clams and Thai clams, Mexican clams and Japanese clams. This riff on Spanish clams turned out so good that I expect the recipe below to take its place in the inner circle of my go-to clam dishes.

10 oz linguini
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 lb smoked pig jowl, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp crushed red chili pepper flakes
1/4 tsp semisweet (or sweet) smoked paprika
salt, to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 dozen manila clams
2 handfuls wild watercress, dandelion greens, or arugula, torn
parsley, chopped for garnish

1. In a large, deep-sided saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low and slowly cook diced jowl, rendering fat until the meat is crispy, about 30 minutes of mostly untended cooking with occasional stirring.

2. While the jowl is rendering, bring a pot of water to boil and add linguini. Cook until not quite al dente, drain, and set aside.

3. When diced jowl is crispy, raise heat to medium, add onions, and cook in pork fat for a minute before adding garlic and red pepper. Cook together for another 2 minutes. Stir in crushed red pepper flakes and paprika. Salt to taste.

3. Raise heat to high, de-glaze with white wine, and allow to bubble for 30 seconds, stirring, before adding clams and covering.

4. When clams begin to open, mix in greens and linguini. Continue to stir, coating pasta and reducing liquid if necessary. Serve and garnish with chopped parsley.

Drinking wine, working the wok – (c) Susan Choi


Return of the Indipinos

A dozen women are gathered around Colleen Almojuela’s dining room table making lumpia, a Filipino delicacy. They place a pinch of meat and diced vegetables in the center of a paper-thin wrap, deftly fold the edges in and seal each small roll with a dab of flour paste. Fingers fly, and so does banter and laughter among this group of friends and relatives, but their meeting has a serious purpose.

A dozen women are gathered around Colleen Almojuela’s dining room table making lumpia, a Filipino delicacy.

They place a pinch of meat and diced vegetables in the center of a paper-thin wrap, deftly fold the edges in and seal each small roll with a dab of flour paste.

Fingers fly, and so does banter and laughter among this group of friends and relatives, but their meeting has a serious purpose.

They are planning the first-ever Indipino Festival, to be held Feb. 15 on Bainbridge Island. And the food they prepare – lumpia and fry bread, chicken adobo and clam chowder – mirrors the event being planned by these bi-racial descendants of Filipino fathers and “First Nation” mothers, most from Canadian reservations.

“It was (islander) Rudy Rimando who approached me about having a celebration to honor the Indipinos,” said former Bainbridge resident Gina Corpuz, who returned from Arizona, where she coordinates the Northern Arizona University’s Applied Indigenous Studies department.

“The reason that I agreed to help organize the event was to honor our ancestors and the sacrifices they made so that we could live our lives in a good way,” Corpuz said. “These women helped their husbands work the soil, clear the land, plant and harvest the berries. They bore their children.

“They are, in fact, the ones we’re honoring in this celebration.”

As many as 60 Coast Salish women came from Canadian reservations to Bainbridge Island in the 1940s to pick berries they stayed to marry the Filipino men left to run local farms after Japanese American farmers were interned during World War II.

Most of the Filipino men had emigrated from a single province, and many were related.

But there was no immigration of Filipino women during the war, and law forbade the men from marrying Caucasians.

Romances flourished between the Filipino men and First Nation women. In a single summer, 12 couples married.

When they became the Filipino farmers’ wives, many First Nation women, already deprived of their heritage through being forced into white-run boarding schools, were disenfranchised from their tribes by Canadian legislation.

Living at a geographic remove from their culture became a third dispossession, and the effects were felt by their Indipino children.

“Because our mothers were in boarding school, we lost the teaching generation,” Corpuz said.

In fact, the Indipino children lost the Filipino tongue as well as their native language, because their fathers, eager to have the kids assimilate, didn’t teach it.

While Filipino culture dominated within the home, the First Nation women were fiercely devoted to their husbands and children, and many Indipinos have happy memories of their early childhood.

The community – more than 50 families strong, often with half a dozen children – clustered on large farms in Island Center and around Lovgreen Road.

Houses were left unlocked, and it was understood that a neighbor in need of an egg or some sugar would simply let themselves in.

The women formed the Filipino American Wives Auxiliary, turning out doilies and other craft items to sell at church bazaars, furnishing the Filipino American Community Hall on High School Road with the proceeds.

And the hall formed the backdrop for some of their happiest times, the Indipinos say.

After a week of planting, on a warm Saturday evening, the strains of “I Found My Thrill on Blueberry Hill” might waft from the building, while couples within clung and swayed.

Whole extended families turned out for picnics and barbecues. Passersby would catch the mouth-watering scent of roast pig or chicken adobo.

The large strawberry and raspberry farms formed an island within an island, isolated from the white society surrounding them.

But when Indipino children entered public school, they encountered the white world, a system of education that reflected a way of being that was inimical to the youngsters.

And the children encountered racism. Colleen Almojuela remembers as a child hearing people being advised to avoid Island Center, the unofficial Indipino reservation, at night.

“I had to leave Bainbridge Island,” Teddie Almojuela said, “to find out I was not inferior.”

Many Indipino children had to come to terms without the support of a mother – half of the women died or divorced, and the men rarely remarried.

Turning inward, Gina Corpuz said, the Indipinos developed their own culture, “one of integration, tolerance and acceptance.”

But the process of internally reconciling the two very different heritages has been a personal, often decades-long journey for each Indipino.

Gilda Corpuz describes the dilemma: “So who do I disown, my mom or my dad?”

Almojuela says that the process of reclamation that culminates in the celebration Feb. 15 began, for her, in the 1970s with the formation of Seattle’s Filipino Youth Association. She writes:

“During the civil rights movements of the early 1970s, I, like many others, was challenged to access my true identity and find meaning for myself…What was my authentic voice? I was very angry, caught between two selves, between two unintegrated worlds… Once I grew more comfortable as a Filipina American, I began to struggle with my identity as an Indigenous woman…my story is not unique.”

Mabuhay, a Bainbridge-based dance group of Filipinos and First Nation members, sponsored “Honor Thy Mother” in 1995, the first Native American gathering on the island since 1865.

Now it is time, the Indipinos say, to publicly celebrate their full heritage.

As Daniel Rapada packs away the last of the lumpia – the women have rolled more than 500 in an hour – the group gather around a low coffee table in the living room, where photographs from the community’s past are scattered.

Colleen Almojuela, points to a face.

“That’s Joe Pagemolo. We used to call him ‘Big Joe.’”

Doreen Rapada picks out another.

“Oh, look, that’s Paul Tabafunda that just passed on,” she says.

Nina Hernandez, the only woman at the meeting born in the Philippines, examines the image.

Rapada lays the old photograph carefully on the table.

The elders are passing, and the Indipinos know it is time to honor them before they’re gone.

A bi-racial heritage has meant coming to grips with, reconciling, and, ultimately, celebrating both sides, First Nation mothers, as well as Filipino fathers.

“I just want to celebrate…what it means to be biracial,” Almojuela says, “that you don’t want to give up either part of who you are.”

Rapada holds up, in one hand, a formal photograph of several dozen women and, in the other hand, a corresponding image of men.


World's best clam chowder!

Three of us ladies were browsing around Bainbridge Island and stopped in to the Bainbridge Island Brewing for lunch. We all ordered the clam chowder. and it was spectacular! I have never tasted such wonderful chowder. Obviously the clams were fresh that day and each bowl was hand-made. The only thing wrong was we had to ask our waitress for rolls. we needed them to "sop up" the soup in the bottom of the bowl! It was decorated so nice. just like an old town pub. A great place for wonderful clam chowder and ambience!

A delightful little brewery with almost a shocking variety of truly excellent beers, from dark to light.

Do not miss its Beer Flight.

The place is beautiful with a bunch of cordial people.

I don't drink and I still love to visit BI Brewing. Atmosphere is very friendly, with a real small-town neighborhood feel.Well-behaved dogs and kids are welcome. They only serve some simple bar snacks, so you are welcome to bring in your own food. usually there is a great hot dog vendor right outside the door. The place is stocked with board games, there might be a local band playing or if you are there on Thursday night, there is trivia. It can get crowded and a bit nosiy, but still a fun place to meet friends.

The beer here was great! The staff seemed busy and distracted which was disappointing. I love visiting breweries when I travel and a lot of the experience is speaking with people who are passionate about beer. To be fair, it was a Monday and the four people we saw coming in and out of the tasting room appeared to be busily creating something new in the brewery.

This little island is filled with creative souls who innovate and enjoy life.

This enterprise is a great example of the entrepreneur spirit that pervades the island.

They obviously love what they do and make a wife variety of damned good brews.

This place is great! Brews after our ferry ride were next on the list for our Puget Sound adventure day. We made our short trip from the dock over to the brewery, coincidentally right next to a distillery. I ordered their Amber and my boyfriend sampled their "best IPA", both of which we loved. Beers come with a pint full of peanuts, satiating our mid-day munchies before dinner. The upstairs welcomed us with cozy couches, Farside books, and necessary outlets for charging our lifeless smartphones. I was happily surprised to see a hops bag from Bamberg Germany (another place close to my heart) hanging on the wooden cabin style wall upstairs . For their German beers, they actually important the hops from Germany! The brewery is super dog friendly, in fact a small horse sized dog (a big grey great dane ) ) was sitting on the patio when we arrived. Enjoy!

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States . If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. more


Clam it up at the annual Chowder Cook-off

JoAnn Solberg of Gig Harbor transfers razor clams to a bowl after chopping them for her clam chowder. She plans to enter her recipe in the Gig Harbor Chowder Cookoff. Staff photo by Carolyn J. Yaschur

A bowl of JoAnn Solberg's clam chowder. Staff photo by Carolyn J. Yaschur

Solberg chops celery and potatoes for her chowder.

Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?

Show up at the third annual Gig Harbor chowder cook-off this weekend and take advantage of the free chowder handed out by six area restaurants.

"They'll give it away as fast as you can line up," said Dale Schultz, chairman of the Gig Harbor Farmers Market, the event's sponsor.

Last year's winner, The Flotation Device restaurant, will be there, as will Anthony's, The Green Turtle, The Rose Tea Room, The Tides Tavern and Brix 25. They'll vie for best chowder bragging rights through the judges' choice and peoples' choice ballots.

New this year is the amateur chowder contest. About a dozen contestants signed up to pit their culinary cutlery against each other. While their chowders won't be available for public consumption, it's a good bet the judges will need to loosen their belts after tasting. Whether red or white, a thick chowder contains lots of starches and creams.

"I'm going to enter four different types of chowder," said Gig Harbor resident Ray Ako. "I modify all the recipes I use so it's not out of a textbook or anything like that. I kind of take the basic recipe and change it around a little bit and put my own spin on it."

Some, like Patti Schultz, are using family members as guinea pigs for their developing recipe. Debbie Massey is counting on her family's traditional holiday dinner to win the day.

"We used to always spend Christmas Eve with my parents, and after I got married we'd go home and have that for the dinner," Massey said. "I thought this would be a nice memorial to my mother."

So grab a ballot after you eat, share your opinion and plan on brewing up your own award-winning chowder with these contestant recipes.

WHAT: The third annual Gig Harbor Chowder Cook-off

WHERE: Gig Harbor Farmers Market, Stroh's Field

DIRECTIONS: Drive east on Highway 16. Take the Wollochet Drive exit. At stop sign, go right. At the first light, turn left onto Hunt Street. Go through four-way stop. The market is at the end of road.

INFO: (253) 851-7397 or www.gigharborfarmersmarket.com

Reach reporter Melodie Wright at (360) 475-3792 or at [email protected]

7 1/2 cups of chicken stock

4 teaspoons light soy sauce

Salt, saffron and pepper to taste

Combine stock and ginger in a large saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove ginger and stir in soy sauce, sherry and creamed corn. Add seasonings to taste. Simmer 5 minutes.

In a small saucepan, blend cornstarch and water. Stir into stock mixture. Stir in crab meat and heat until it thickens.

Bring mixture to a slow simmer and slowly pour in beaten eggs in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Do not allow soup to boil. Garnish with sliced green onion.

-- Ray Ako of Gig Harbor

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

4 Yukon Gold potatoes chopped small

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Fresh sea salt (use a grinder jar)

Cook the bacon, until crispy over medium-high heat in a stock pot. Stir in the leeks, onions and celery. Sauté vegetables. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Add the bay leaves and thyme. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes. Stir in the clam juice. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender (about 10 to 12 minutes). Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Add the razor clams and simmer 2 more minutes. Add the parsley and serve.

-- JoAnn Solberg of Gig Harbor

4 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced

2 teaspoons fresh minced dill

1/3 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

Johnnie's Seafood Seasoning to taste

Sauté clams and scallops that have been dusted in flour in butter, in the kettle you plan to make the soup in. Season with Johnnie's Seafood Seasoning. Set aside.

In a frying pan, sauté bacon, leek and celery until transparent then add to the clam mixture. Add the creamed corn, water and potatoes then simmer until the potatoes are tender. Soup will be very thick, so be careful not to burn.

Add all the remaining seasonings. Just before you are ready to serve, add the evaporated milk. Heat, do not boil and serve with a little bit of parsley on top.

-- Pat Schultz of Gig Harbor

Yield: 4 bowl-sizes servings

1/4 pound salt pork, diced small

1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped onions

2 to 3 cups of diced potatoes (peeling optional)

1/2 pound firm whitefish, cut in chunks -- halibut, haddock, whatever you can find

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

Cover clams with 4 cups cold water and bring to boil. Cook until the clams open. Remove clams from shells, chop and set aside, strain the broth and set aside three cups.

In a large heavy pot, cook the salt pork until fat is rendered and the pork is browned. Add onions and cook five minutes or so until softened. Add potatoes and the reserved broth. Simmer covered for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add seafood along with milk and cream. Simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes until cooked through.

-- Christina Frutiger of Gig Harbor

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FRUGAL RECIPES

Red Beans and Rice 1 16-ounce bag small red beans 1 ham hock or ham bone 1 large green pepper, chopped 3 to 4 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 cup green onions, chopped 1 pound andouille or any spicy sausage (like kielbasa) Bay leaves 2 to 3 cups water Salt, pepper, Tabasco to . [Read More. ]

All Hail Glorious Clam

Fried soft-shell clams at Manhattan&#180s Grand Central Oyster Bar &amp Restaurant. photo by Ari Mintz | Newsday Clams Casino is a delicious hors d'oeuvre and is easy to make. Ari Mintz | Newsday Linguine and clam sauce Steamer clams smothered in butter . [Read More. ]


Bainbridge Island’s Harbour Public House

From coast to coast and around the world, food and the places that serve it are a big part of what makes a region unique. Maine has lobster shacks. In Philly, it’s cheesesteak joints. San Francisco gave the world chowder in a sourdough bowl, and New Orleans serves up mountains of beignet under an avalanche of powdered sugar at the Café Du Monde.

Some dining experiences are so firmly iconic to the locale, it’s hard to imagine one without the other. So where does one go to get a taste of the Kitsap Peninsula?

The Harbour Public House on Bainbridge Island is a good start.

It’s a big responsibility to represent the culinary heart and soul of an entire county. Sure, it’s about the food, but it also requires a setting and a history authentic to the place. Jeff and Jocelyn Waite, owners and operators of the Harbour Public House (known locally as “the Pub”) as well as the adjoining Harbour Marina, are proud of their businesses’ past.

The History

“The Pub has been here for 26 years, and we’ll be here for at least another 26,” Jeff Waite says with a smile.

Waite’s wife, originally Jocelyn Evans, is the daughter of Jim and Judy Evans, original proprietors and founders of the pub and marina. Jeff and Jocelyn Waite began their marriage on the deck of the Pub overlooking the marina.

Owners Jeff and Jocelyn Waite

Jim Evans, a professor at the University of Washington, was an early adopter of commuting by bicycle. His trusty bike is now on display above the Pub’s bar. He and Judy, a Bainbridge grade-school teacher, built the Public House in the footprint of the original waterfront home. The homesteaders, Ambrose and Amanda Grow, began construction of the house for their family in 1881.

By 1990, the building had seen better days. The hundred-year-old cedar foundation was rotting away. The Evans restored the building, raising the front two-story portion and reconstructing the basement. The original upper floor was retained as much as possible. The first-growth Douglas fir of the interior was repurposed as wainscoting, trim and cabinets. Upstairs floor joists became booth tables and the fireplace mantelpiece.

The Harbour Public House opened on Dec. 27, 1991. Just as in a traditional English public house, the Evans family lived there for several years.

In a nod to Bainbridge’s maritime past, the Pub displays photos of the shipbuilding Hall brothers and their crew of shipwrights, as well as reproductions of the mast flags of the Hall Brothers Shipyard. In 1881, the company — already known for 40 years as a builder of the finest sailing ships — brought its shipyard to Port Blakely.

The pub’s own marina enables boaters to tie up outside.

The Setting

The Harbour Public House occupies a rare waterfront setting for a Kitsap County restaurant. A huge outdoor deck, which doubles the Pub’s seating in summer, overlooks a 50-slip marina with complimentary moorage for waterbound patrons who wish to tie up and stop in for a bite. Inside the doors, diners are met by warm woods, padded booths and a pub bar.

The intimate effect is furthered by a fireplace, high ceiling and walls of windows. The single-room restaurant and bar is for age 21 and over at all times. The room is uncluttered by a kitchen, which is located on the ground floor — the food delivered via dumbwaiter. The Pub doesn’t take reservations, but use of the Nowait app allows the peckish and impatient to put their names on the waitlist before they arrive.

The Food

Finally, it’s time to eat. Once settled into a booth by the accommodating staff, guests are handed, um, a newspaper. Approximately four times a year, the Waites print a new menu for the upcoming season. Printed on newsprint, the menu takes up the backside of the page, while the front gives diners a short history of the establishment and articles on providers of the fresh and local fare for which the Pub is known. What could be more appropriate for a purveyor of English-style fish and chips than newspaper?

Jim Evans’ trusty bicycle over the bar

The fish and chips, voted Bainbridge’s favorite, is beer-battered Alaska Pacific cod served with hand-cut fries. It ranks as one of the Pub’s most celebrated offerings, along with clam chowder made to order and burgers from grass-fed Spanaway beef. The meat is never frozen, and the Pub grinds its hamburger in-house.

In addition to the regular menu offerings, there are five or six chalkboard specials each day. These may include such crowd-pleasers as bouillabaisse, ling cod sandwiches, buffalo burgers, seafood curry, pork grilled cheese and steak tostadas.

Line cooks busy in the ground-floor kitchen

In 2002, Waite and chef Jeff McClelland, who was trained at the Culinary Institute of America, began converting the menu to locally grown and organic. By 2017, they had cultivated relationships with 47 farms, many within 6 miles of the Public House. In addition to Harlow Cattle Co. beef and year-round produce growers, the Public House serves organic chicken Puget Sound shellfish Bainbridge’s Pane d’Amore bread Mt. Townsend Creamery cheeses and Washington-made wines, brews, ciders and spirits.

Throughout the week, the Pub keeps it interesting. On Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., the end of the workweek is celebrated with Slurpy Hour, that special time when freshly shucked, locally raised oysters cost $1 each. Sundays are enjoyed in traditional English fashion with roast beef and all the trimmings, served starting at 1 p.m. The Pub is also notable for the “non brunchy brunch.” Served from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., this brunch-in-denial has special “brunch-inspired dishes” for those in “footy-pajamas” or otherwise.

Friends gathering after work for great food and drink

Although the Pub is very much an Island establishment, its fame is by no means restricted to the eastern shore of Agate Pass. The Harbour Public House has been featured on the Pub Grub episode of “Food Paradise” on the Travel Channel. Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife, Trudi, are occasional guests, as are various local celebrities.

In one of the most beautiful spots on Earth, the Kitsap Peninsula, the food that reflects the way of life is fresh, local and seafood-rich. The setting must reflect the Northwest lifestyle: flannel with panache. The Harbour Public House brings it all together.


My Personal Quest for the World’s Best Clam Chowder: Duke’s Chowder House in Seattle

I finally got a chance to check out the new Seattle Duke’s restaurant on Lake Union. The establishment has recently relocated one block north from its original location to 1111 Fairview.

It was a beautiful sunny spring day. I had drinks and dinner on the outside deck. The view on the water with all the shiny new boats was exceptional. Service was super friendly and very prompt. The atmosphere was very relaxed and casual. (Yes, there was one table of wealthy “exclusive” business-type folks who were speaking in whispers as if they were selling exclusive rights to the entire world, but we all just ignored them…)

I started my feast with a distinctive pale ale suggested by our waiter Tim. Fremont Brewing’s “Sky Kraken” is one of the best beers I’ve ever had the pleasure to consume. It tasted great! Super smooth with a sunny yellow color which is very appealing. Great suggestion -Thanks Tim!

Duke’s is famous for it’s award-winning chowders. It is in fact a “chowder house” so you’ll find some the freshest seafood on the west coast. If you’re visiting Seattle you simply must try the seafood. You’ll never find fresh delicacies like this in Phoenix or Chicago! Oysters on the half shell, salmon, Dungeness crab, etc.

Here’s my suggestion: After you’ve had a few sips of your amazingly good microbrew (they serve 14 & 20 ounce glasses at a reasonable price), try a sampler of their famous chowders. The small cups are called “dinghys”. You can order at least four different kinds of chowder with a side of their wonderfully soft yummy bread. They also serve bread bowls (highly recommended!).

New England-style chowder is the standard fare in Boston and Seattle, but you can sometimes find the red Manhattan-style as well. I consider myself to be a serious chowder connoisseur, having searched for the best oyster and clam chowders available on Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and along the Oregon and Washington coasts.

I’m very familiar with how freshly harvested and prepared seafood should taste. The Pacific Ocean has much to offer in terms of fish and mollusks. The salmon is incredible (try it smoked with pasta fettuccine!).

I’m very lucky because I spent a lot of time in my youth with my father Floyd fishing for salmon or cod and trapping crabs. Our boat followed the commercial fishing ships and charters that were working out of the ports of Ilwaco, La Push, Neah Bay, Westport, etc.

Dad also did some scuba diving, so he’d bring up strange creatures like urchins and sea cucumbers to show the kids. We also harvested clams and oysters on Puget Sound and fished for trout, perch, bass, etc. on inland lakes and rivers.

The Northwest is both beautiful and bountiful!

My family used to spend weekends on our beach property at Ocean Shores, Washington. My mother would shop for all the local fresh seafood we could find — salmon, cod, mussels, scallops, clams, calamari, crab, shrimp, etc.

Mom would cook it all up in a big pot with a strong white wine base and season it with a bay leaf, garlic, etc. It would all be served as “Mary’s Special Cioppino” (pronounced “chu-pee-no”) with the clams still in the shell and the crab un-cracked. It was a wonderfully messy dish that we all loved. Even the kids got a little happy from the wine.

In the Northwest you’ll find the best butter and razor clams available anywhere. If you’re feeling really adventurous, try the geoduck which is not a water fowl but is actually a very large and intimidating looking clam that’s extremely difficult to harvest. If you’ve ever been clam digging on the Pacific coast and tried to dig for a geoduck you know what I mean. They are very strong!

But let’s get back to the meal…

At the new Duke’s on Fairview I decided to sample the Italian-style cioppino seafood chowder in honor of my mother. The dish features their incomparable wild Alaskan Copper River salmon. It also includes cod and halibut from Alaska. It’s the red colored dish on the upper right in the photo (courtesy of byoblikeaboss.com).

By the way, the website states:

“All of our Salmon, Halibut, Rockfish, Cod and Weathervane Scallops are 100% Wild & Sustainably caught in Alaska. Our shellfish is 100% sustainable from the Pacific Ocean including our Dungeness Crab from the Washington and Oregon coast, Mussels from Penn Cove on Whidbey Island and Wild Prawns from the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.”

Bottom line — I liked it! Very tasty with many subtle tangy accents that reminded me of my mom’s recipe for Mary’s special seafood cioppino. You definitely want to dig in right away while it’s still hot. Yum!

I also sampled Duke’s famous award-winning clam chowder. This dish is my usual favorite at cafes and restaurants all along the coast, from Long Beach on the Pacific ocean, to Poulsbo on the Salish Sea and Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. I’ve tasted dozens of clam concoctions in the Northwest – most are good, some are truly extraordinary!

Having spent some time in France, I tend to prefer creamy rich and thick soups. I enjoyed my latest favorite hearty chowder at Winslow during one of my frequent trips to Bainbridge Island (you can take a ferry to the island from Seattle). I enjoyed that great chowder at Doc’s Marina Grill.

I must admit, however, that Duke’s restaurant gets my award for the best clam chowder in the city of Seattle and maybe best in the state. It had everything a chowder needs — a thick creamy texture and rich hearty taste with just the right amount of herbs and sea salt. My compliments to the chef!

You should use the bread to soak up the broth. Bread or crackers and chowder are inseparable. You simply can’t have one without the other!

All in all it was a great experience. The wait staff was very attentive and cheerful. I was able to get some privacy and distance from the other diners while enjoying the open air and a wonderful view from the deck. If you appreciate boats, seafood, microbrews and a relaxed waterfront lifestyle, then Duke’s is for you.

I’m often out on the lake enjoying sunny days in my boat, so I will definitely be back to visit the crew at Duke’s Chowder House again very soon. My ultimate quest for the best clam chowder in the world may have finally been realized!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Razor Clam Chowder and a Day at the Beach

And a great weekend was had by all.  This is another verbose entry so get a cup of tea and settle in because I have a treat for you my cousin Teresa’s beach photos.

Razor clam digging can take a lot out of you so we started carbo loading first thing Saturday morning with my dad’s legendary cabin breakfast.

Dad’s pancakes are silky and rich and mouth melting thanks to the hefty swirl of bacon grease he adds to Krusteaz.  Served alongside steaming, grease slicked eggs  and crisp bacon … I need no other reason to get up in the morning.  My cousin Tim who felt a teensy bit left out of the Fred Meyer vs Safeway conversation swirling around the breakfast table offered his best money saving grocery tip:  buy beer at the store and drink it at home to save oodles in bar fees.  Love that guy.

Breakfast over and daddy daughter day commenced.  Ross took J and E kite shopping and dad took me to the hardware store where we got gutters and downspouts and this green accordion pipe thing to solve the soppy wet spot at the front of the cabin.  I love handing my dad tools as he does dad stuff high atop a ladder.

Soppy spot subdued and off for a walk on the beach where I froze but was nonetheless entranced by the thousands of tiny sandpipers racing the tide and the stark beachscape.

Once home, fortified with creamy cocoa and ample refills of whip cream we baptized the new fondue pot I scored at the local thrift store for three bucks.

Hard to improve on bread swirled in kirsch spiked cheese washed down with fresh pressed cider.

Thus fortified, we hit the beach.

Clam tides happen only once a month, only in the winter.  You'd think the combination of cold, dark, rain and the occasional snowstorm would keep all but hearty he-man types off the beach.

But no, clam tides attract thousands of clam lovers from kids to grandparents:

But it’s no cakewalk.  First you must obtain highly specialized equipment and attire.  There seem to be two sartorial schools of thought.  One group goes stealth with camo hip waders and matching neoprene jackets (I especially like the his and hers matching sets).  The opposite end is the barefoot tank topped gal with wild hair, flat on her belly probing a clam hole with her bare hands.  This is not me, I lie somewhere in between with blue daisy rain boots from Bay Hay  and my dad’s fleece lined raincoat. 

Next, you’ve got to have the right equipment. We dig with clam guns stainless steel tubes you press into the sand with a rocking motion.  They slice through the beach layers and if you’re lucky and skilled you come up with a clam on the first pull.

The thing you need to know is that razor clams don’t just lie there.  The second your clam gun hits the sand they start digging.  Take your time, worry about your manicure or get girly about sticking your hand into an eighteen inch hole filled with frigid sea water and your quarry high tails it.

The last one to limit gets a cheer squad and lots of help spotting the show the dimple in the sand that indicates a clam.

It’s then, when the whole group has limited and we prepare to leave the beach that we realize the true reward  the grandeur all around.  The Pacific ocean froths and swirls windswept trees arch along the ridge the sand shimmers with twilight.  Against the roar of the ocean migrating birds soar, calling their locations to each other much the way families up and down the beach keep track of their youngsters, bantering about who has the largest clam, who limited first and how many bowls of dad’s clam chowder we’re going to eat.

A great big thank you to my cousin Teresa Harpster, a very talented artist and photographer, for loaning me these wonderful photos.


Bainbridge Island Restaurants for the Best Date Nights

It’s difficult to list only 10 of the wonderful Bainbridge Island restaurants, when there are so many special places to dine. Consider this a sample or taste of some of the best places for a romantic date night. Since they are popular with visitors and locals alike, reservations recommended at most restaurants on the list:

    – You’ll find the most attentive staff at this charming cafe, next to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Their seasonal menu uses local seafood, meats and produce creating unforgettable dishes. Begin with a delectable starter with a heavenly cocktail and end with one of the decadent desserts. – The friendly staff here serve the amazing modern Vietnamese dishes, with French and Southeast Asian influences. The small and large plates are great for sharing and savoring along with one of the original seasonal cocktails. – This is one of the most romantic restaurants on the island with famous chef Greg Atkinson at the helm. For a perfect evening out with your loved one, treat them to an amazing meal at an intimate table. Or grab a front row seat at the chef’s counter and see the staff work their magic. – One of the most well- known Bainbridge Island restaurants that’s owned by Seattle’s talented chef Brendan McGill. Cozy up in a booth and great ready for a dining experience from the creative menu. Surrender to an amazing Chef’s Tasting Menu or choose from the fresh season menu. – Request a table at the huge four-season deck overlooking Eagle Harbor and the grand sailboats. It’s a great place for a burger or sandwich, but they’re also known for their wonderful clam chowder, caesar salad, and seafood dishes.
  1. Proper Fish – Owner Harvey Wolff, a chef from London, knows authentic fish and chips. It’s no surprise that Seattle Times named the ones served here “Seattle’s very best fish and chips” and we couldn’t agree more. The perfectly crisp and light fried fish is also served with house made minted mushy peas, tartar sauce, and twice cooked, hand-cut chips. – Enjoy thin crust Neapolitan pizza in the modern, industrial setting. Share a pie at the huge bar area or at one of the rustic wooden tables and benches. During the warmer months the floor to ceiling garage door windows are opened for an open air dining experience.
  2. Thuy’s Pho House – Tucked in Madrona Lane find this great Vietnamese, noodles and pho cafe. This charming restaurant is owned and operated by chef Thuy herself, a Bainbridge Island local. Enjoy amazing food in this casual setting with a charming courtyard for outdoor dining as well. – Only patrons 21 and older can dine in this traditional public house. Come here for the best Seattle and water views from their deck and a few choice seats inside. It’s also the place to go for fresh oysters and a huge beer list. However they make amazing seasonal cocktails, pub burgers and also offer salads with a choice of grilled and bbq’ed meats and vegetables. – This tiny cafe is the best kept secret on Bainbridge Island, that will take a little searching to find. It’s off the beaten path of most Bainbridge Island restaurants but worth a short walk from the downtown area. Their artisan pizzas are to die for and the small bar also serves exquisite cocktails. Hearty salads, pasta dishes and house-made desserts round out the menu. However the decor is part of the experience as well, with walls covered in album covers. Find your favorite band while enjoying a wonderful dinner.

With all these amazing choices you could dine out at different excellent Bainbridge Island restaurant every night! Eagle Harbor Inn has the perfect central location for sample the great cuisine on the island. Plan a romantic getaway to our beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest and start 2020 creating wonderful new memories.


Watch the video: Walking around Bainbridge Island, Washington (July 2022).


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