Monday, March 11, 2013

Vegan "Clam" Chowder

Vegan "Clam" Chowder pg. 122
This is my 100th post for the CSK Project.  100 times I have blogged about my adventures in cooking.  In all my blogs I have never used the "F" word.  That is until now...

FIRE! Yep, I had a bit of a kitchen fire today! Seriously!

Let me recap for you.  I finally came to the realization that I could not put off the Vegan"Clam" Chowder any longer.  I have only a few recipes left.  It was time to man up and make this soup.  You might be wondering why the resistance to this recipe?  I had two issues with it.  One, I had to make a seaweed broth to put in the soup.  That sounded really horrible to me.
The second and the scarier thing was having to smoke some mushrooms.  That just sounded like a pain in the a--! 
I don't usually like smoked foods to begin with and to take something and smoke it seemed like a guaranteed turn off in my book.  Smoking wood chips isn't something I normally have on hand (or never for that matter), so I had to go buy some.  I also don't have a professional smoker (but who does?) so I tried my best to make one.  CSK gives you instructions on how to do so. 

This is where things got a bit messy.  I thought I would just use two disposable tin pans.  I figured it would work and make for easy clean up.  Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what NOT to do.  I layered the wood chips in one, poked holes in the other, layered the mushrooms in the tin with the wholes, propped the tin with holes over the wood chips, covered it, and watched it burn when I add heat!

I turned on my burner and it was smoking a lot within seconds.  The smoke was followed by big flames!! I was shocked.  I grabbed a glass of water and put out the flames, but not before burning my finger.  Needless to say not only were the mushrooms smoked, but my house also smelled like we had a huge campfire in the family room.   Not to mention my hair smelled like I had been camping as well!  My teen son thought the house smelled amazing, and was instantly hungry when he got home.  Go figure?! He is a growing boy.
After the disbelief that I just had a fire in my kitchen, I got on with the recipe and tried to make smoked mushrooms yet again.  This time I did it on the BBQ.  We had some sort of container under our BBQ that may be for smoking?  So I cleaned it and poured some chips in it. Then called my husband because he is the barbecuer (Is that even a word?) in our house.  I had no frickin clue how to turn the BBQ on.  Sad I know, but now I can say I know how. So try not to bag on me too much. Remember I have a burned finger. Sympathy please!  I tried my best to smoke the mushrooms but still not sure I nailed it?

The rest of the recipe wasn't too complicated, and there were no more fires.  Thank God!  Truthfully, the recipe had nowhere to go but up from the fire incident. The base for the soup was cashews.  Here are all the ingredients needed.
The cashews really made for a creamy soup.
You have to continually add water to the soup because it gets very thick quick. I found I couldn't go too far away from the pot for fear the soup would burn.  In the end, you add some lemon juice, salt & pepper, and lastly the best ingredient Tabasco.  Yum!  I really thought I would hate this soup.  I was so wrong.  It was awesome! No trace of seaweed broth or overly smoky flavors.  It was a creamy delicious bowl of chowder.  The only thing I would keep in mind besides being careful not to burn your house down, is although the recipe says it serves 12 I didn't find that to be so.  I cut the recipe in half because I didn't anticipate liking it, but there is no way it made 6 servings.  It was more like three.  Just thought you should know if you go to all the smoker trouble:)
Even though I really thought this soup was terrific, I will not be smoking anymore food at my house.  I will leave that to the professionals.  Turns out if I get a craving for this soup I can have a bowl next time I am in Las Vegas.  The Wynn hotel serves it.  I am going to Vegas in a couple of weeks, and can't wait to have a taste made by a real chef!


  1. Great job on your 100th post!! Really awesome work. I've loved seeing and hearing about all the receipes. I imagine the cookbook authors have enjoyed it as well.
    You are going to have to tell us your favorites, since you've tried them all. Amazing

  2. Yikes! This sounds like something that would happen in a movie, glad it turned out OK.

  3. Yeah, 100 post so proud of you! I Miss talking to you. Your a busy girl. Soup looks delis h.