Friday, October 26, 2012

Judge, Jury and Executioner: Clam Chowder with Cheddar Biscuits

After sleeping on the decision, Rick decides that Randall must be executed. Learning that Randall belongs to a violent gang of survivors only reinforces his decision.

Dale is horrified that the Group seems satisfied with the plan to kill a man. He convinces Rick to give him one day to reason with the rest of the Group to spare Randall's life. Andrea agrees to guard the young man until Dale can plead his case.

Dale approaches Daryl Dixon first to discuss the execution. Dale tries to reinforce to Daryl that he is a decent man and his opinion matters to Rick. Dale is surprised to discover that Daryl knew of Shane's involvement in Otis' death all along. He was not fooled by the illogical story that Shane told the night of the death.

Dale then tries his luck with Hershel and Shane. But all of his arguments fall on deaf ears and he cannot convince anyone that Randall should be spared. 

While Dale makes the rounds trying to convert the Group, Carl wanders around the Greene's property. He roots through Daryl's bag and steals his handgun. The boy then finds a Walker stuck in the mud and teases it. When the Walker breaks free, Carl flees towards the farm.

The day ends with Dale unable to win anyone to Randall's side and the decision to execute him is made. A distraught Dale Horvath walks the perimeter of the property while Rick, Shane and Daryl take Randall to the barn to end his life. Rick is about to shoot Randall when Carl encourages him to pull the trigger. The reality of the situation seems to stun Rick, who once again, spares Randall.

As Dale walks alone, he is attacked by a Walker. Though he fights valiantly, he is gutted in the struggle. His screams bring the Group running but Hershel sees immediately that even surgery will not save his life. Rick knows what must be done, but freezes when he brings out his pistol. Daryl takes the weapon from the Sheriff Deputy's hand and with a heartfelt apology, ends Dale's suffering.

Before the tragic events of the evening, Dale no doubt had prepared supper for the Group. Always creative, Dale likely had some fresh vegetables to work with from Maggie. With the stress of the difficult day, he would have chosen something easy on the stomach. Clam Chowder would be a perfect choice for a cooler evening. Cheddar Biscuits are a savory accompaniment.

And when the dead rise: don't let nine-year-olds wander around completely unattended and without adult supervision.

Clam Chowder

1 package Knorr Leek Soup Mix
2 potatoes, diced (the WDSCB used Red potatoes)
1 onion, peeled and diced
2-6 oz. cans of Clams, undrained
3 cups Almond Milk
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp. dried Thyme
Sea Salt and Black Pepper

In a large Dutch Oven, over medium heat (or medium campfire coals), heat 1-2 Tbsp. cooking oil. Add onion and cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for an additional 6 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften.

Stir in the 2 cans of clams and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the Almond Milk and the package of Leek Soup Mix. Add bay leaves and Thyme. Simmer for 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Season with Salt and Pepper. Serve with Cheddar Biscuits.

Cheddar Biscuits

2 1/2 cups Heart Smart Bisquick
4 Tbsp. Butter Flavored Shortening
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp Land O'Lakes or Molly McButter Cheddar Sprinkles

1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. Soy or Almond Milk

3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp dried Parsley flakes
dash of Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Alternately, heat campfire coals until red hot. 

In a large bowl, combine biscuit mix, garlic powder and cheese sprinkles with shortening using a fork or pastry blender (if you can scavenge one). Don't combine them too well; allow some lumps of shortening to remain. Stir in milk and mix only until blended. Don't over mix the dough.

Drop by 1/4 cup measure onto a greased baking sheet, or baking pan. Or a greased cast iron skillet if using a campfire to cook.  The dough should make 12 biscuits.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Alternately, place skillet over hot coals and cover with lid or aluminum foil. Allow to cook for 12 minutes. Check and rotate skillet if needed. Allow to cook over coals for an additional 5 minutes and remove from fire when biscuits are spongy and appear dry on the tops.

In a small bowl, mix olive oil, garlic powder, parsley and sea salt. Spoon over warm biscuits as they come out of the oven or campfire. Use all of the mixture.

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