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Aug 15, 2011 09:43 PM

Problem with a friends chowder.

I went over to a friend's house for a party. They served a corn and potato chowder that they modified from a fish chowder. They gave me the recipe....

BACON FAT,RENDERED 2-3/8 oz 1/4 cup 1-2/3 tbsp
ONIONS,FRESH,CHOPPED 2 lbs 1 qts 1-5/8 cup 2-1/4 lbs
CELERY,FRESH,CHOPPED 1 lbs 3-3/4 cup 1-3/8 lbs
POTATOES,FRESH,PEELED,CUBED 7 lbs 1 gal 1-1/8 qts 8-5/8 lbs
WATER 16-3/4 lbs 2 gal
BUTTER 1-1/4 lbs 2-1/2 cup
FLOUR,WHEAT,GENERAL PURPOSE 1-3/8 lbs 1 qts 1 cup
MILK,NONFAT,DRY 1-1/3 lbs 2 qts 1 cup
WATER,WARM 23 lbs 2 gal 3 qts
THYME,GROUND 1/8 oz 1 tbsp
SALT 1-7/8 oz 3 tbsp

The flour and butter made a roux...wich ended up being just balls of flour and butter in the pan more then anything else....was like a dumpling..interesting...well here's the problem.

I brought home left overs, and well I went to go open it up for dinner and well it was like staring at snot...very mucusy and gluey....not sure if it's edible...but I wonder what's wrong with it...I've never had a problem with any of my chowders. Though might happen to me in the future.

So what went wrong with it?

No, I nuked it for 6 minutes it was piping hot and still mucusy and gluey.

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  1. My goodness. Were you making chowder, or feeding an army?

    But back to your roux problem. It seems like you were adding all the ingredients together at one time. Add a bit of flour at a time, whisk, and add some more flour, repeat.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      was a cook out and they told me they added a little at a time, but it still clumped....I was thinking too much startch and might of started to seperate perhaps?

      Hmm never thought a roux would turn mucusy.

      1. re: Grendal

        The roux proportions look alright, at least by weight - I doubt there was too much starch unless they maybe measured only by volume and got an unusually dense packing of flour.

        To clarify, they first cooked the flour in the butter before adding other ingredients, right?

        The potatoes will thicken the chowder as well, so the problem could have been either that they overcooked the potatoes and/or that they undercooked the roux (roux loses some of it's thickening power as it is cooked), perhaps failing to really fully mix the flour into the fat before adding other ingredients. Also, if it were me making the chowder, I'd probably have scaled back the potatoes a bit.

        You may be able to improve the texture a bit by adding some milk or water and mixing it in (along with some more seasonings to taste), but I wouldn't be too optimistic at this point.

        1. re: cowboyardee

          Cook bacon until crisp. Drain; finely chop; set aside for use in Step 6. Reserve appropriate amount of bacon fat for use in Step 2.
          Saute onions and celery in bacon fat about 7 minutes or until crisp.
          Add potatoes and water to onion-celery mixture; cook until potatoes are almost tender but still firm, about 10 minutes.
          Blend butter or margarine and flour to form a roux; set aside for use in Step 6.
          Reconstitute milk; add to potato mixture. Heat to just below boiling. DO NOT BOIL.
          Add roux and cooked bacon to milk and potato mixture. Cook until thickened or about 10 minutes.
          Add potatoes, corn, pepper, thyme, parsley and salt to mixture. Simmer 10 minutes.

          They did tell me they melted the butter in the microwave and just added flour and stirred it in...not sure if that would do it.

    2. LOL. I'm sorry, I don't think I can help your chowder (but wonder if more water and whisking might help)?

      I just can't help but laugh at that tiny, dried TBSP of parsley valiantly trying to flavor up this vat of veggie goodness. :)

      1. The only thing I can think of is using a bain Marie or double boiler to make your roux, like you would if you were making a Bechemel Sauce.

        1. I'm afraid it's the nonfat milk (especially from powdered) and the flour that does it for me.

          A good chowder doesn't need a roux to thicken it.

          1. If you have glue now, nothing will be able to fix the current product. If you/they make it again, keep in mind that the roux base will never improve from the starting product. Sounds like too much dry (flour) wasn't cooked properly into enough fat (butter) before the slow addition of wet (milk). Hence you got clumpy nasty flour bombs and, on reheat, the lovely bowl of paste.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ultimatepotato

              it's mucusy...it's runny like some brands of glue....not pastey but it's definately like snot. It's like snot both before and after reheat...compairable to egg whites when raw.

              1. re: Grendal

                then I'd just pitch it. No use trying to save something that nasty.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Sadly I cannot pitch it...with this economy I cannot afford to just throw stuff away. Expecially 3 gallons of left over chowder...That's the food that must last till the end of the month. Everything else in the house is no longer edible...my only other option other then saving it, it hunting and fishing...the fish have gone deep to cooler water. Hunting, nothing is in season until the end of the month. September 1st goose comes into season.

                  Could it of been some type of bacterial spoilage?

                  1. re: Grendal

                    No. It is not bacterial spoilage. It was a poorly made roux right from the start. To be honest, this recipe looks awful to me. It certainly isn't a chowder as it is defined here in New England. Are the flour balls big enough to be filtered out using a strainer of some kind? Do you have access to some milk, even dried, or fish stock that you could try to thin it out with?

                    The other option is to go the other way and pretend it is a stew. Thicken it up with some sort of starch and serve it over rice or noodles?

                    3 gallons is a lot to throw out, especially if this is your only source of food until the end of the month.

                    1. re: smtucker

                      It actually wasn't too bad...It tastes just like chowder, it goes down just like chowder...smooth like a good chowder...I do admit...their roux making was terrible...I told them and showed them how to do a slurry for the future.

                      My only thickener is the queensland arrowroot but it's not big enough yet to make arrowroot powder....so I'm out of thickeners, I just don't have the money to buy any either.