Memphis, meet Boston
January 19, 2015
Every once in a while, I come up with some wild off-the-cuff recipe that winds up tasting so good I just impress myself.
That’s what happened when I put barbecue in chowder.
There is, by the way, no picture. It ain’t photogenic. Sorry.
Yeah. Barbecue. Chopped smoked pig. In chowder. Chow-dah. In place of clams or shrimps or the seafood of your choice. Because I could. And you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em should as well.
I’ve always loved a chowder, the creamy, mild soup base embracing whatever protein you wish to add to it. Love it with shrimp; love it with clams; love it with crabmeat (and cheese!), love it with flaked fish filets. And I’d seen a recipe for barbecue soup in the Memphis newspaper, a sort of a veggie soup but with barbecue in place of the beef.
I was kicking around ideas for lunch the other day, contemplating what was in the fridge. And I spied the remains of a pound of chopped pork I’d brought home the previous weekend. That pork needed to be put to use.
My first thought was a standard potato soup — thick and cheesy, with barbecue where you’d expect the bacon bits to be. But I have an inherent horror of cheese served with barbecue, thus my absolute aversion to barbecue nachos, which are creatures of Satan. I love cheese, and I love barbecue, but I don’t want ’em together, sort of like I don’t want ripe tomato with my ice cream.
So my mind veered over to chowder. And I set about making some.
First, I sauteed up a small onion in some olive oil. I added about half a dozen small potatoes, peeled and diced (about a pound total) and a quart of chicken broth. (I added another two cups of water. Don’t do it. Made the chowder thinner than I’d prefer.) When the potato pieces were about half done, I added a cup of corn kernels from the freezer, and a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika. Let that simmer for 30 minutes, and hit it with the immersion blender to smooth things out.
Then I added a cup of cream and a half-pound of chopped pork, and let that get good and hot.
Actually, I wasn’t, because I added some cornstarch to thicken things up since I’d added the water. You will not do that because you will not have to, because you will have learned from my mistake.
People. This is good stuff. Excellent stuff. So easy as to be ashamed of it stuff. And if you have it with a grilled cheese sandwich (my aversion to barbecue with cheese goes away when they’re that far removed from each other), it’s just doggoned well excellent. It is, in fact, Sweet Baby Jesus good.
Do this. It’ll quickly become a favorite. Your mama ‘n ’em will love you, as will your local barbecue purveyor.
I’m so entrance with it I think my next adventure will be adding succotash to the mix. Ya think?