The Cliff House Clam Chowder from The Cliff House in Ogunquit, Maine
1 slice hickory-smoked bacon, minced
1/2 teaspoon butter
1 cup onion, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon The Cliff House Spice Blend (see below)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 can clams (6-1/2 ounces)
1 cup bottled clam juice
1-1/2 cups Half and Half
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
To Create The Cliff House Spice Blend, blend 4 tsps oregano, 4 tsps dried parsley, 2 tsps marjoram, 2 tsps dill, 4 tsps thyme, 4 tsps basil, 1 tsp sage, 4 tsps rosemary, 2 tsps tarragon, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, crushing in a mortar if possible. Store in a resealable plastic bag to refrigerate.
In a heavy-bottomed, 4-pint soup kettle, sauté bacon, butter, onion, garlic and The Cliff House Spice Blend over low heat. Do not allow to brown. Drain clams and set aside, reserving the juice. Slowly stir the flour and clam juices in the sauté mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Add Half and Half and simmer 20 minutes. Add white pepper, potatoes and clams. Heat to serving temperature. Do not allow to boil, as this toughens the clams. Serve at once with crackers and warm cornbread.
For the bread bowl...I don't know the name of it because they make round breads in all kinds of bread types. However, any grocery store with a bakery should have them.
Is the cook making a dip or a soup? A large bowl or individual servings? The answer to these questions will determine what size bread round he needs to buy. Most bakeries carry a variety of round breads, and for a large dip, he should buy a bread loaf at least 9 inches across at the bottom and about 6 inches high. For individual servings, he should look for rounds that are about 3-4 inches across and about 4 inches high. Bread rounds can be plain, seeded, white, sourdough or multi-grain, but all should be reasonably fresh.
While cutting the bread, a cook needs a place with good lighting, so she can see clearly, and should have a plate or cutting board large enough for the bread round to fit comfortably.
The cook should place the bread flat on the board and insert the tip of the knife down into the bread, about three-fourths of the way down and about one inch from the edge. The cook should then cut around the perimeter of the bread, keeping that one inch edge, and turning the loaf accordingly, until the knife meets its original starting point. The cook needs to be careful not to cut through the sides or bottom of the bread loaf.
Once that cut has been made, the cook should look under the cut part of the bread, to see exactly how far down the knife has gone. This will determine where to cut out the core of the bread. There should be at least half an inch of bread on the bottom, with a bit more in the middle. The cook should then use the knife tip to slice out the core of the bread. This is something of a judgment call, but the basic idea is to have enough bread and crust on the bottom and sides so the food does not seep out.
Now that the bread core has been taken out, what to do with it? Many cooks will cut the core into cubes to serve with the food item in the bowl. Some will cut the bottom off and will make a cover for the bread bowl when it is filled. It is up to the cook. If the filling is a dip or spread of some kind, then the bread cubes are a good idea.