Thursday, January 17, 2013

Willapa Bay Oyster Chowder in an RV

 Austerity Dinner #10.
I've been out of commission for a while. I have been down sick. I'm still sick. I have no voice and I'm coughing and hacking. It's starting to break up, though, and I'm glad of that. I've been planning to make this recipe every night for the last 4 or 5 nights and I just never seem to feel good enough to do it. Today was different.
There is not going to be an actual recipe on how to make this chowder. I'm just going to tell you what I put into it because, to be very honest, I don't measure a damn thing when I make a chowder. I just chop it up and drop it in a pot.
Any good chowder worth it's salt will start out with a good amount of bacon. This is some sugar-cured bacon that we picked up at a meat market in Portland on our anniversary. Pretty tasty!
 I give the bacon a head start in some olive oil. Then I pull it out and drain it. I add lots and lots of red skinned potatoes into the hot bacon grease so that they have a head start because my chowder does not come to a boil and they need to be tender. I also add in chopped celery and onion.
I'm lucky in the aspect that my herb garden is two steps out of my door and sitting on my picnic table. I get fresh sage, thyme, marjoram, curry leaves, name it...all winter long. Use fresh herbs if you have them!!

This chowder is rich, decadent and utterly delicious! I'll list my ingredients, but not the amounts because I probably make enough for 20 servings...I freeze the leftovers for another night.

Willapa Bay oysters (or whatever oysters you can get...I used a pint)
heavy cream
cream cheese (a full block of it)
whole milk
1/2 a stick of butter
red skinned potatoes
1/2 a bag of frozen corn
sugar-cured bacon
dry sherry
hot sauce
red pepper flakes
dried summer savory
pink Himalayan sea salt
coarsely ground black pepper
instant mashed potatoes

Basically, crisp up the bacon. Chop up the potatoes, celery and onion and cook them in the bacon grease until they are tender. Combine cream cheese, heavy cream, butter and milk in a big ol' pot. Add in herbs and seasonings with sherry. Throw in the corn. Heat over very low. When veggies are tender, add them to the milk in the pot along with the bacon. Add oysters with liquor  and heat just until oysters firm up. If needed, add a tablespoon of instant potato flakes at a time until chowder reaches desired consistency.


  1. I'm drooling all over my computer screen! Love oysters but HRH doesn't. Only get to have them once in a blue moon. I wouldn't have thought about freezing the chowder but that makes sense...those fancy lobster dinners often come with frozen chowder. I'm still drooling!

    1. A life without oysters would suck, indeed!! I'm lucky because they have the oyster beds about an hour away and I can get really fresh. I buy and freeze them September-December to eat all year round. The months that end in "R" are the best oyster months.


I love hearing what you have to say!