The controversy is raging, and I need your help.
It all started when my friend Chef John, uncharacteristically, made a mistake.
John’s web site, Food Wishes, is a collection of extremely good recipes. They’re straightforward and easy to follow, familiar enough to be craveable, but with an interesting spin or variation. His videos are clear and helpful and he’s smart and funny. He’s classically trained, but he never lords it over you; he just helps you master whatever technique it is that he’s using. His food is really, really good.
The best thing about Food Wishes, though, is that it makes you want to cook. I’m a big fan.
So I was surprised when, back in January, Chef John made a mistake.
He posted a clam chowder recipe, and it looked wonderful. Creamy but not viscous, with a combination of fresh and canned clams. And no cornstarch! Cornstarch is my particular chowder peeve. (I also have a chowder recipe, with a different approach – I puree onions and potato to make the base.)
The things is, though, that John left the littlenecks in the shells. And that’s just wrong. You don’t want shells in your soup. I don’t even like them in things like Bouillabaisse, which are more stewy than soupy. It’s the cook’s job to take the clams out of the shells, thank you very much. I’m nobody’s idea of fastidious, but picking hot shellfish out of hot, soup-covered shells is simply not my idea of a dinner-table activity.
I registered my disapproval in his comments section, and he promised to give the issue a full airing at a later date.
Well, that later date has come, and I need to know what you think. Shells in soup, or no shells in soup? If enough of us weigh in, we might be able to convince John.