Sea Grill Signature Chowder
Audra stops by the Sea Grill in New York city to get step by step look at making their signature chowder; a dish that sells ten gallons a day during the holiday season.
Audra: There is nothing better to warm you up on a cold day especially like this than delicious seafood chowder and it’s one of the signature dishes right here at the Sea Grill and I got a chance to whip up a pot with executive chef, John.
Alright, so I’m back with you again, this is what, year two?
John: Year two.
Audra: We’re back again—
John: Happy Holiday!
Audra: You too, good to see you. So now, we’re going to make a chowder today, right?
John: Yes, we’re going to make the Sea Grill signature chowder.
Audra: What makes it the signature chowder though?
John: Well, it’s a recipe that we’ve been running out of Sea Grill for as long as I’ve been here many years before.
Audra: Okay, now this day before Christmas, is this something that you should prepare the night before or can you do this the day out.
John: I think that day out is the best and you let it simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, so it get kind of meld all those flavors together.
Audra: So you’re going to walk me through it because you’re always teaching me how to cook. A lot of ingredients here, let’s get started.
John: Well, the first thing we need is a nice size pan and we’re going to get all of these ingredients in there, the cream, the clam stock and it builds. You run out of space very quick if you want a size pan. So a good pan.
We’ll let’s start with the bacon first though, so we want to run into the bacon and let all the fat come out of the bacon, you don’t really want to get any color on the bacon itself. If you get any color on any of these vegetable, your chowder is going to kind of turn a little bit gray or brown.
John: So we want to keep it as color as possible so that it just look so much nice.
Audra: Good. And then once we get the bacon done and what’s the next step.
John: So we’ll run from the bacon and then we add a little bit of flour and we make it with that. It’s a thickening agent and it’s best to mix that flour with the fat. The flour reacts with liquids and waters in particular and it will clamp up on you. So if you mix it with the fat, it keeps it from pumping up so much.
John: Add the flour to the bacon and it will thicken up, it will be kind of like a wet sand consistency.
Audra: That’s the consistency you really want.
John: That’s what you’re looking for.
Audra: Okay, that makes the chowder.
John: And then we will add our veggies.
Audra: Onions, you’ve got the celery in there.
John: Some beautiful white and yellow part of the leek. We will put all of these three guys down.
John: For about 15 minutes and we want to get all of that water out of those veggies. When you’re concentrating a flavor there, also you don’t want to really have crunchy veggies in your chowder.
Audra: No, it’s not good.
John: So if you need to, you can put a leek on your chowder while that’s happening and it kind of steam those veggies too so it kind of speeds up the process a little bit and again, try not to get any color on these guys.
Audra: Right, right.
John: No color whatsoever.
Audra: You got.
John: Now we can get our veggies and then we can add our clams and our clam stock here and bring that up to a light simmer and then we will add some cream. About one and a half cream to do the trick.
John: You don’t have to boil your cream—
Audra: Just add in there as is, okay.
John: We’ve got our clams, we’ve got our cream and then we will add the rest of our seafood. We’ve got lobster and shrimp.
Audra: And just put that in as is, right?
John: You can add oysters too if you want—really whatever seafood you got kind of hang out on the house, gallops or anything like that.
Audra: Let me guess, you are using this for the garnish?
John: Yes. So we’ll let that seafood come up to a simmer and then we’ll add some potatoes. I have some potatoes here and we peeled then and we diced them. This is something you can do the night before where you prepare your meats and you have your potatoes diced up and hold them in the water so they don’t discolor.
Potato acts as a natural thickener too. You have the potato starch that goes with the clam juice and the cream so that’s going to thicken up.
Audra: There’s a reason for everything in here, right? And how many people would they serve?
John: Well, this large batch here is going to serve a good six to eight people.
Audra: Six to eight people.
John: And we’re good to go and a lot depends on your clientele.
Alright! Here is our finished chowder.
Audra: This is what I’m waiting for it.
So good. You said that over the holiday, you serve about 10 gallons of this everyday, is that right?
John: Yes, today it’s about 10 gallons, tomorrow another 10 gallons. Sunday, we might even get into 12 gallons.
Audra: I got my spoon ready and I’m ready to rock and roll. That looks really good, it smells excellent. Okay, here we go.
John: It’s a great cold day for chowders.
Audra: You haven’t let me down yet so I don’t think this is going to be the moment. I’m really excited to taste this. Ready? See you later.
10 gallons minus one. That was so good. It was ridiculously good.
Sea Grill Signature Chowder
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