On Labor Day weekend I fell in love. With Martha’s Vineyard, that is. And an amazing clam chowder from a famous little place called The Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven on the harbor. The Black Dog’s story began in 1971 on the beach in Vineyard Haven when Captain Bob Douglas opened an 88 seat restaurant named for his beloved black dog. The tavern has grown from a small island haunt to a nationally renowned restaurant with stores and merchandise branded in the Black Dog Tavern name. No trip to the Vineyard is complete without a meal at The Black Dog, especially to try their infamous Quahog Chowder that’s been on the menu since 1971!
Quahogs are hard shell clams, different from soft shell clams, otherwise known as “steamers”. This recipe is from The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook that I acquired on my recent trip. It is fairly easy to make, and a little more time consuming if you are using fresh clams but totally worth the effort for that fresh flavor. It’s rich and creamy, has a touch of thyme and paprika and lots of delicious clams, potatoes, celery and onion making it the perfect chowda’ for a Fall afternoon.
Serve with crusty bread, oyster crackers or croutons and a glass of white wine or a locally brewed ale. Now all you need is the gorgeous view of Martha’s Vineyard harbor to make it a true New England experience! (p.s. I’m moving there – someday!) Oh, and stay tuned for the full report and photos of my Boston and Martha’s Vineyard Labor Day weekend trip. More foodie fun to come! Enjoy. ~AG
2 oz salt pork, rind removed (or 8-10 slices of bacon, diced)
2 c diced onion
1 c diced celery
3 c diced potatoes
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 c shelled quahogs with juice – 6 lbs in shell (or use jarred whole baby clams)
1/2 c salted butter (1 stick)
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 qts. light cream (or 1 qt heavy cream + 1 pint half and half)
Dice the salt pork or bacon and saute in a large pot until translucent. If using bacon, saute over high heat until cooked through, then drain fat except for 2 tbsp. and return to the pot. Add the onions and celery and saute for 5 minutes.
Pour in about 1 1/2 cups of the clam juice and add the potatoes and seasonings. Simmer the mixture until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When it is bubbling, add the flour and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. This is called a “roux”.
Roughly chop the quahogs, reserving any liquid (if you use whole baby clams you can skip this step).
When the potatoes are tender, add the quahogs to the large pot and simmer for 2 minutes.
Stir in the roux and continue simmering for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. This is your chowder base.
In a separate saucepan, scald the cream by heating it on high until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Do not boil.
Stir in the hot scalded cream into the chowder base, mix together, and remove from the heat.
At The Black Dog, they serve it topped with croutons and a dollop of butter, accompanied by oyster crackers or crusty bread. Garnish with paprika and enjoy!
Serves 8 to 10.
More Clam Chowder Recipes you may enjoy:
Thick and Creamy New England Clam Chowder – Food.com
Epicurious Clam Chowder Recipe
Dave Lieberman’s Clam Chowder
White Peach, Prosciutto & Mozzarella Salad
Peaches. There’s something so satisfying about biting into the sweet, juicy flesh that quenches the thirst for a cool and refreshing treat in the summertime.
Even the perfectly round shape, bright peachy red and fuzzy exterior gives it a heavenly appeal.
Peach Still Life
Almost too pretty to eat.
Peach, Prosciutto and Mozzarella Salad
This recipe pairs white peaches with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella in a tangy sweet vinaigrette. It’s refreshing and light and the salty prosciutto paired with the cool, mild mozzarella and sweet peaches is a combination to die for. You can also substitute the mozzarella with Ricotta Salata (fresh ricotta) or Feta Cheese, and add some sliced or slivered almonds for crunch if you like. Serve this salad with some crusty bread and a glass of white wine – perfect for a lunch or dinner side salad with an Italian dish.
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 head leafy green lettuce
2 large white peaches, sliced into wedges
½ red onion, sliced paper thin
3-4 slices prosciutto, sliced thin and torn into pieces
3 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded into pieces
Combine lemon juice, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Gradually drizzle in olive oil, stirring constantly, until vinaigrette is mixed thoroughly and doesn’t separate.
Combine lettuce and peach wedges in a large bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.
Arrange salad on serving dish or in individual bowls and top with prosciutto, red onion and mozzarella cheese. Top with freshly cracked black pepper.
Serve with crusty bread and a glass of white wine (Reisling or Chardonnay pairs well).
Other Peach Recipes you may enjoy:
Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad
Oprah’s Summer Peach Salad
Paula Deen’s Grilled Peach Salad
Roasted Beet, Peach and Goat Cheese Salad
Albondigas en Salsa de Chipolte (Spanish Meatballs)
These Spanish-style meatballs are a delicious little treat: sweet, smoky and spicy and lavished in a luscious tomato sauce, they are sure to be a hit at your next Tapas or Cocktail party. You can serve them with some stuffed olives and rustic bread for dipping or over pasta or polenta for a full on hearty meal. Ole!
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. coarse ground salt
1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1/3 c. fine dry breadcrumbs
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
9 (3/4-in.) cubes queso fresco
2 Tbsp. lard or canola (or other vegetable) oil
1 c. finely chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1 lb.) can whole peeled tomatoes,
undrained, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. beef stock or broth
2 to 4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
Sliced Chiles and Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish
9 whole pimento-stuffed green olives, for serving
Rustic Bread, for serving
Beat eggs with salt in large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs; let stand 5 mins. Add beef, pork and cilantro, salt and pepper, cumin and smoked paprika; mix lightly but thoroughly. Divide meat mixture into 18 even portions. Shape 1 portion into flat patty; top with 1 cheese cube. Press meat firmly around cheese to enclose completely and form balls.
Heat lard or oil in deep 10-in. skillet over medium high heat until hot. Fry 1/2 of meatballs at a time, turning occasionally, until brown on every side, about 5 mins.; remove to plate. Remove and discard all but 3 Tbsp. drippings from skillet. Add onion and garlic; saute over med. heat until soft, about 4 mins.
Stir in tomatoes, stock and chiles; heat to boiling. Return meatballs to skillet; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until meatballs are cooked through, about 45 mins. Remove meatballs to serving dish with slotted spoon; keep warm.
Transfer tomato mixture to blender container; process until smooth. Return mixture to skillet; heat over high heat to boiling. Pour sauce over and around meatballs.
Garnish with chiles and cilantro or parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve with stuffed olives and rustic bread for dipping or over pasta or polenta for a heartier entree.
Pan-seared Scallops and Asparagus
Spring has arrived! It’s my favorite time of year when everything comes alive…flowers are blooming, streets are buzzing, the sun is shining, and the freshest fruits and vegetables are available at the local markets. Asparagus, Strawberries, Avocados – three lovely, seasonal ingredients perfect for a light and refreshing Spring menu. The salad has marinated strawberries in a Strawberry Balsamic Viniagrette, which gives them a sweet, tangy flavor – a perfect complement to the crunchy toasted almonds, bacon and avocado in this delicious spring salad. The Scallops are pan-seared in a roasted garlic chardonnay marinade with a splash of lemon, served with a side of sautéed fresh asparagus. Enjoy!
Pan Seared Scallops with Garlic and Lemon and Sauteed Asparagus
16 Large Sea Scallops
¼ c. Roasted Garlic Chardonnay Marinade (Tavern on the Green)
2 tbsp EVOO
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
Lemon Pepper (Trader Joe’s)
1-2 Green Onions, sliced
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Kosher Salt to taste
In a plastic freezer bag, place scallops and ¼ c. marinade and lemon pepper, coat scallops well. Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Chop the green onions and parsley and reserve for topping the scallops.
Cut off the ends of the asparagus (tough parts of the stem), rinse and pat dry. In a pre-heated sauté pan over medium-high, sauté the Asparagus in a tablespoon of olive oil with a splash of lemon juice and lemon pepper for about 5-6 minutes until cooked through.
After scallops are done marinating, take them out of the bag and dry off with paper towels. Place them in the same sauté pan, adding remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt and lemon pepper.
Sear the scallops for approx. 2-3 minutes per side until browned and cooked through. Sprinkle scallops with some fresh lemon juice and remove from pan.
Place asparagus and scallops on a plate and garnish with chopped green onions, parsley and a lemon wedge.
Strawberry Avocado Salad
Strawberry, Bacon and Avocado Salad with Toasted Marcona Almonds
1 lb of mixed lettuce
1 pint of fresh strawberries, sliced
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 ripe avocado, sliced
½ cup of Rosemary Marcona almonds, toasted (Trader Joe’s)
3 green onions, sliced thin
3 tbsp of EVOO
3 tbsp of Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar (Tavern on the Green)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Slice the strawberries into thin slices and place in a sealable plastic bag with the 2 tbsp Strawberry Balsamic vinegar in the refrigerator, let marinade for about an hour.
Prepare salad dressing, mix olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and mustard together, slowly whisking in oil until it is mixed well and set aside.
Fry bacon in a pan until cooked well and drain on paper towels. Let bacon cool and crumble for salad topping. Set aside.
Rosemary Marcona Almonds and Green Onions
Place almonds in a separate pre-heated medium-sized pan with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt over the nuts. Cook and stir for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown and toasty.
Slice the avocados and green onions.
In a large salad bowl, toss the lettuce and vinaigrette together, mixing well, and top salad greens with the marinated strawberries and sliced avocados.
Garnish the salad with crumbled bacon, green onions, toasted almonds, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste.