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Celebrate National Clam Chowder Day, February 25, at Benny’s Chop House
Chowder is a timeless icon of East Coast food culture, with the region’s abundant source of fresh seafood.
The tasty dish can easily compete with Chicago’s and New York’s best. Benny’s challenges you to try it and judge for yourself.
The word chowder traces back to fishing villages along the coast of France. Each village had a "chaudiere" (cauldron) awaiting the day’s catch of fresh fish. Over time, in some recipes, clams and shellfish became the primary or only seafood ingredients since they were easily dug up along the shoreline. In 16th century North America, chowder was popular among northeastern Native Americans. By the middle of the 1800’s, it was a staple throughout the Northeast. As the country continued to grow and settlers made their way along the Atlantic coast, varying chowder recipes followed, creating Connecticut Chowder, Manhattan Chowder, Rhode Island Chowder and New England Chowder.
Tomato-based clam chowder had its beginning in the mid-1800s when tomatoes became popular in the United States, due to the large Italian population in New York and the Portuguese fishing communities of Rhode Island. By the 1930s, the tomato version had come to be called Manhattan clam chowder. Some historians say that the Manhattan version was originally called Coney Island Clam Chowder or Fulton Market Clam Chowder; both names were used in the 1890s.
About Benny’s Chop House
Benny’s Chop House, located at 444 N. Wabash Ave. in Chicago, IL 60611, serves 100% USDA Prime natural, dry-aged and wet-aged steaks and other delicious cuisine in a sophisticated setting. The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight. The bar and lounge remains open an hour later. Live jazz is presented Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. For more information contact Benny’s at (312) 626-2444 or visit www.bennyschophouse.com.
BENNY’S CHOP HOUSE
BENNY’S CHOWDER RECIPE
• 2 onions – diced small
• 2 carrots – diced small
• 2 celery stalks – diced small
• 2 teaspoons garlic
• 1 tablespoon crushed red chili peppers
• 3 tablespoons paprika
• 12 ounces vermouth
• 12 ounces Pernod
• 2 cups clams
• 4 cups rock shrimp
• ¼ cup tomato puree
• 1 quart chicken stock
• Thyme / oregano / bay leaves / parsley stems (in a sachet or cheese cloth to hold the herbs together)
1. Sweat onion, carrot and celery. Add garlic, paprika, red chili peppers.
2. Cook slowly until all vegetables are soft.
3. Add Vermouth and Pernod. Bring all ingredients to a very gentle simmer.
4. Add tomato, clams, shrimp, chicken stock and the herb sachet.
5. Bring all ingredients to a very gentle simmer.
6. Preparation time is approximately 30 minutes.