Up Close & Tasty is in the midst of a redesign and I couldn’t be more excited about it. At first, this change felt more daunting than exciting because I knew how much work it would be. One main thought kept holding me back: I don’t have the time. But, another thought got me to finally tackle this project: I need to ask for help.
Asking for help, unfortunately, is a hard thing for a lot of people to do. It’s like we’re afraid of burdening someone else when, in fact, we would be offering them an opportunity to do something they want to do and specialize in doing. People, in my experience, genuinely want to help when they can. If they can’t or are unavailable, then they will tell you. There’s no rational reason to not ask for help when you need it.
I asked my lovely friend and fellow coworker, Raine Dalusong, to handle the web development of the new layout for me. She has been a breath of fresh air to work with. She’s responsive, thoughtful, detailed and has fixed some issues that I didn’t know how to solve. I am a photographer, not a web developer, and that is ok! I don’t have to do this all by myself and I honestly wouldn’t have been able to do it without her. Asking for help has been nothing less than refreshing and motivating for me.
While I continue to organize my posts and images from the last three years, I’m finding that I am spending a lot more time with my computer than I would like. Mike has been a huge help in the kitchen for me during this redesign as well. He recently made this Clam Chowder with Shrimp and Crab for me because he knows how much joy seafood brings to my life. I figured this would be a good recipe to share with you because it is incredibly comforting during this busy time of year. The smells alone will inspire you to step away from the computer and take a nice delicious and well-deserved break.
Do you ask for help when you need it or try to push through on your own?
CLAM CHOWDER WITH CRAB AND SHRIMP
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup clam juice
1 cup water
1 cup fat free milk or almond milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons milk
Salt and red pepper flakes
1/4 pound shrimp
1/4 pound little neck clams
1/4 pound lump crab meat
2 cobs of corn, corn cut off the cob
4-5 slices of bacon, cut into thin strips cross-wise
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Over medium heat, in a nonstick skillet, sauté bacon until crispy, about 6 minutes.
2. Remove bacon from pan and let cool on a plate with a paper towel.
3. Sauté onions and carrots in a separate stock pot for 5 minutes.
4. Add broth, corn, clam juice, water and milk and bring to a simmer.
5. Add the cornstarch mixture and season with salt and red pepper flakes.
6. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
7. Add your clams and simmer for 5 minutes or until they open.
8. Remove clams from their shells, discarding any that did not open.
Optional: I kept some clams in their shells for presentation purposes.
9. Add the shrimp and crab and simmer for about 5 minutes.
10. Add the clam meat back into the stock pot with the shrimp and crab.
11. Ladle chowder into bowls and garnish with parsley, bacon and clams in the shell.
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.