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Pat’s Pantry: Winter warm-ups

By Pat Mills

The warm, comforting taste of chowder appeals to everyone.  These hearty full-flavored creamy chowders are just what you need to warm up on a cold winter day. – Pat

Cheesy chicken chowder
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced peeled potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons pepper
¼ cup butter, cubed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups diced cooked chicken

In a 4-qt saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat; add the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minute or until thickened. Add to cooked vegetables. Reduce heat; add cheese, stirring until melted. Add chicken. Cook and stir over low heat until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Country potato chowder
6 bacon strips, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half cream
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-in cubes
2 cans (10.75 oz each) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 2-in pieces
1 can (14.75 oz) cream-style corn

In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, sauté onion and celery until tender. Sprinkle with flour and stir until blended. Gradually add cream. Stir in the potatoes, soup, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots and beans. Cover and simmer 15 minutes longer or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in corn and reserved bacon; heat through. Yield: 12 servings.

Northwest salmon chowder
½ cup each chopped celery, onion, and green pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 cup shredded carrots
1½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ to ¾ teaspoon dill weed
1 can  (14.75 oz) cream-style corn
2 cups half-and -half cream
1-¾ cups fully cooked salmon chunks or 1 can  (14.75 oz) salmon, drained, flaked, bones and skin removed

In a large saucepan, sauté celery, onion, green pepper and garlic in butter until the vegetables are tender. Add broth, potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper and dill; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are nearly tender. Stir in the corn, cream and salmon. Simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.

Cheesy ham chowder
10 bacon strips, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup diced carrots
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1-½ cups water
2-½ cups cubed potatoes
1 can (15.25 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
pepper to taste
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham

In a Dutch oven or large soup kettle, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. In the drippings, sauté onion and carrots until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually add milk and water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the potatoes, corn, bouillon and pepper. Reduced heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add cheese and ham; heat until cheese is melted. Stir in bacon. Yield: 10 servings.

FOOD FACTS

• Buttermilk today comes from skim milk which has been cultured. This milk has a rich flavor and almost no fat.
• If you add ½  cup of strong tea to the stew, it will help tenderize the meat and reduce the cooking time.

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