Gourmet Galley: ‘Chowder’ a misnomer for hearty meat dish

I was talking to Marilyn Davis last week and she said she had just made a pot of Rome Chowder. I could not recall ever making it and inquired about the recipe. She told me it was from one of our “How to Make” booklets.

Years ago, she and I both worked as Home Service advisers with Gulf States Utilities and our department published the booklets. I know some of you remember them. They covered everything from “How to Make a Wedding Cake” to this Rome Chowder that was in “How to Make Old-Fashioned Skillet Meals,” and the recipe also was included in “50 All-Time Favorite Recipes.”

Neither of us have our electric skillets from those days, but Davis now makes it in a big, heavy skillet that has a tight-fitting lid. I doubled it and made it in my Dutch oven.

I don’t know why this is called “chowder”; it’s not a soup. It’s a seasoned ground meat mixture with tomatoes, green peas and spaghetti. Basically, it’s a one-pot meal that only needs an accompanying big green salad to go with it.

All ages generally like this, and it could be made with ground chicken or turkey if you prefer.

These frugal and comforting dishes can still be winners after all these years.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.