Today’s recipe is a little riff on a family favorite. I, like most people who grew up on the East Coast of Canada, grew up eating fish and seafood chowder. My grandmother always made a huge pot whenever and wherever the entire family congregated. Naturally, the chowder was always accompanied by a fresh batch of tea biscuits. I often say that this combo would be my preferred last meal. It is perfect, so why mess with it? Well, because I can’t help it. It’s not in my nature to leave well enough alone. Today’s Miso Clam Chowder is not an improvement of a childhood favorite because you can’t improve upon perfection. This is not an attempt to elevate, this is playtime. Delicious playtime, I might add.
Confit Tomato Soup
It’s hard to get excited about a tomato in the dead of winter. Actual tomato season is still months away and most of what you find in grocery stores right now are light in flavor and mealy in texture. Not exactly the stuff of tomato dreams. But while it may not be the ideal time for something like my heirloom tomato pizza, it is prime time for this Confit Tomato Soup. When you lazily cook anything in a vat of olive oil it’s going to be good. The confit process concentrates the flavor of the tomatoes and brings out their sweetness while reducing their acidity. In other words, the confit method transforms lackluster winter tomatoes into flavor powerhouses.
Smoked Tofu Chili with Crushed Corn Chips
There’s been a lot of talk about belt-tightening lately. And it’s not hard to see why. I paid $8 for a pound of butter the other day. And I have very fond memories of paying $6 for the same amount not that long ago. Consequently, I have been more financially conservative at the grocery store. A necessity I hate and resent. And all of these limitations have me reminiscing about my university days, particularly the struggle meals that sustained me. Today’s Smoked Tofu Chili is a descendant of one such meal. I guarantee whatever concoction I was eating ten years ago was not as good as this. But the bones were there and the comfort it gives me is the same, so let’s make it.
Turkey Pistou Stew with Pearl Couscous
It’s Thanksgiving for my neighbors to the south today. I’m sure most of them are absorbed in the pie-of-it-all right now. But once the wishbone is broken and the last round of coffee is served, they will be confronted with a new task – consuming all the leftovers. Now, this is one of those good problems to have to be sure. But being Canadian, I know how repetitive turkey day leftovers can be. Don’t get me wrong, I love a turkey sandwich as much as the next girl. But eventually, you start to miss the way you used to eat. Pasta, salads, noodles, and of course, soup. Luckily, a leftover, like turkey, can find a home in all of the above. But today we’re concentrating on this Turkey Pistou Stew with Pearl Couscous. Why? Because this soup is perfect for those final bits of the bird that aren’t exactly sandwich-worthy.