Clam Chowder’s Roots as a Simple Seafarer’s Dish

Clam Chowder pic

Clam Chowder

James (Jim) Ahern serves Laidlaw & Company as managing partner and head of capital markets where he provides a host of investment services focused on the health care vertical. A deep sea fishing enthusiast, James (Jimmy) Ahern enjoys adventures in the Cape Cod area when away from his responsibilities with Laidlaw & Company.

One of the classic coastal New England recipes is clam chowder, with a Serious Eats’ Food Lab article bringing focus to an authentic version of the dish. As originally envisioned in Colonial days, clam chowder should have a mild taste, with salted pork’s sweetness playing off on the clam’s slight bitterness to create a delicate flavor. The other accents are typically onion, celery, black pepper, and bay leaf, with oyster crackers providing the perfect topping.

The roots of chowders are in French and English seafood stews and were adapted in early New England port towns as the perfect long-lasting fare for fishing voyages. With the first known recorded chowder recipe printed in a 1751 Boston Evening Post article, dairy was notably lacking from the dish until much later when milk cows became prevalent in the region.

Three Tips for Dealing with Grill Flare Ups

Grill Flare Ups pic

Grill Flare Ups

Since 2010, James “Jim” Ahern has served as the head of capital markets and a managing director for the New York City-based health care investment bank Laidlaw & Company, where his efforts have helped the firm grow into a nationally recognized institution. Outside of his professional contributions to Laidlaw, James Ahern enjoys cooking and is particularly fond of grilling.

One of the biggest problems to look out for when grilling is a flare up, which occurs when fat drips down into the grill and causes the coals to flame and can burn your food. These three tips will help you prevent those dangerous and meal-ruining flare ups the next time you are grilling.

1. Trim the Fat – Since burning fat causes flare ups, an easy way to avoid them is to trim excess fat off your meat before cooking it. That said, fat helps give your meat its flavor, so leave enough to protect yourself from a bland meal.

2. Flip Less – Flipping your food too much could increase your risk of a flare up. Every time you flip you risk some of the meat’s fat dripping down and catching fire. Prevent this by flipping your food less frequently, using tongs instead of a fork.

3. Move the Meat – Sometimes flare-ups are practically unavoidable when cooking meats high in fat. If you cannot avoid them, the best thing to do is be ready for them. Keep a constant eye on your food while it is cooking and as soon as you notice a flare up, move your meat away from that portion of your grill. After a while, the fire will die down on its own, making that section of the grill safe to use again.