New England clam chowder and Maryland corn-and-crab chowder are universally popular as well as delicious and filling. With either one serve large, seasoned chowder crackers (one brand, which comes in a tall round can, is called Sea Biscuits): spread crackers with butter, sprinkle with celery salt or a mixture of dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, and marjoram, and crisp in hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm.
Since the chowder is the main dish, servings should be larger than usual and in deep soup bowls. Your best green salad might follow the chowder and a generous cheese tray, with coffee. Or omit the salad and simply serve an especially good party dessert, such as a chocolate roll cake and coffee. In some families, the one and only dessert served after chowder is deep-dish apple pie with Cheddar cheese.
NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER
4 slices lean bacon
4 small onions, peeled and chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon salt
Grind of fresh pepper
3 cups water
4 1/2-oz. cans minced clams (or 1 quart cleaned clams and their liquor)
1 quart milk
4 tablespoons butter
16 soda crackers
Chop bacon coarsely, heat in large soup kettle and fry until almost crisp. Add onions, cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add potatoes, salt, grind of pepper, and water, and cook for 10 more minutes. Add canned clams or chopped, cleaned clams and their liquor to the kettle, then add milk and butter and cook for 3 minutes, until steaming hot and at boiling point. Sprinkle crushed crackers into chowder, stir but do not boil. Pour into warmed marmite or deep soup casserole, and place on buffet table warmer. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
MARYLAND CORN-AND-CRAB CHOWDER
21/2 cups small raw potato cubes
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cups hot water
13/4 teaspoons salt
4 to 5 cups milk
2 6 1/2-oz. cans crab meat or same amount quick-frozen with bones removed
2 17-oz. cans cream-style corn
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Combine potatoes, onions, water, and salt in large soup kettle. Bring to boiling and cook about 10 minutes. Stir in milk, then cleaned crab meat and corn. Cook over low heat until steaming hot. Pour into hot tureen or deep soup marmite. Sprinkle top with parsley. Place tureen or marmite on table warmer. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
CHOCOLATE ROLL CAKE
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate bits
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Melt chocolate in the top part of a double boiler over hot water; add sugar and water. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat, let cool, stirring from time to time. Beat egg yolks until they are thick and lemon colored, then stir them into cooled chocolate, adding vanilla. Beat egg whites until they stand in points when the beater is removed. Add chocolate-yolk mixture to whites and beat just long enough to blend. Chill to spreading consistency, that is, for about 3 to 4 hours in refrigerator.
6 tablespoons cake flour
6 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Start oven at Moderately Hot (400°F.). Prepare shallow jelly-roll pan, 10-by-15-by-1/2 inches; grease, and line it with waxed paper, then grease the paper.
Sift flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder together three times. Beat egg whites until they stand in points when the beater is removed. Fold in sugar a little at a time. Beat yolks until they are thick and lemon colored. Add vanilla and fold in egg white meringue. Fold in sifted dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in Moderately Hot oven for 13 minutes. Turn out on dish towel sprinkled thickly with confectioner’s sugar. Quickly cut off crisp edges of cake. Roll up. Let cool on rack. Unroll, spread generously with chilled chocolate filling. Roll up again and chill in refrigerator 1 hour or longer, until serving time. This recipe makes 8 servings.