Old-Fashioned Clam Chowder
(from a 1960's large print edition of the New York Times Cookbook [with my comments])
Yield: 15 to 20 servings (about 5 quarts)
5 to 6 dozen chowder clams [10-12 lb. large clams from Bill the Oysterman]
½ pound salt pork, diced [cured guanciale from Niman Ranch]
6 large onions, sliced
6 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped [we used all canned due to the season]
2 cups canned tomatoes [28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice]
3 ribs celery, diced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley [we used more]
1 teaspoon thyme [omit if using guanciale]
1 bay leaf
3 large red potatoes, peeled and diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 Pilot biscuits, crumbled [oyster crackers, as I couldn't find Pilot biscuits]
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 to 4 drops Tabasco sauce
1. Scrub clams until water runs clear and place in a large kettle or clam steamer with 1/2 cup water. Steam clams until they open, about 10 minutes, depending on size.
2. Save the liquid for the chowder. Remove clams from shells and discard long necks and coarse membranes. Chop half the clams, leaving remaining clams whole. [As we used large clams, we chopped all of them.]
3. Saute salt pork [or guanciale] in a heavy kettle until golden. Add onions and leeks and sauté until tender.
4. Measure liquid saved from clams and add water to make up to 2 quarts. Add to kettle with tomatoes [and their juice], celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, about 30 to 40 minutes [until potatoes are tender].
5. Blend flour with butter and add a little at a time to hot soup while stirring. Add biscuits, Worcestershire, Tabasco [we prepared it up to this point and let it rest for a few hours for the flavors to marry, then reheated before adding clams] and reserved clams. Reheat and test for seasoning.
12 generous servings
(adapted from a recipe that appeared in Bon Appetit)
6 large or extra-large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 tablespoons gold rum
1 ½ pounds mascarpone cheese [we found Belgioso]
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup instant espresso powder [Medaglia d'Oro is usually available]
¾ cup chilled whipping cream [Clover organic, which is NOT ultra-pasteurized]
2 7-ounce packages crisp Italian ladyfingers (savoiardi)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder [we used Scharffenberger]
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Fill large bowl with ice water. Whisk eggs and 1/3 cup sugar in top of double boiler over simmering water. Whisk constantly until thermometer registers 160º F, about 10 minutes (to prevent survival of salmonella, if present; I think it also improves the flavor to cook the eggs). Set custard over bowl of ice water and whisk until cool. Stir in rum.
Whisk mascarpone in another large bowl to loosen, or use an immersion blender. Blend in custard until smooth. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to simmer in medium saucepan. Add 1 cup sugar and espresso powder; whisk until dissolved. Mix in cream and refrigerate until cold.
Assemble the tiramisu in a 13x9x2 baking dish. Submerge 3 ladyfingers in the chilled espresso-cream mixture for 5 seconds. Place on bottom of baking dish. Working in batches, repeat with just enough ladyfingers to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers. Repeat layers. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Whisk cocoa and powdered sugar in a small bowl to blend. Sift over top of dessert. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
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