I am almost afraid to post this recipe because my husband is sitting on the edge of his seat downstairs watching the New England Patriots beat his team the NY GIANTS, score 17-15.........and if that wasn't enough.......his wife is posting a recipe for New England Clam Chowder! He might even blame me if the Giants lose...but oh well....Let me defend myself by saying that the posting of this recipe is purely coincidental...Really..You must believe me...!
Here is the story....My friend Rachel requested a recipe for clam chowder and because I love requests, I was happy to take on the challenge, or was it that I love challenges, I was happy to take on the request..hmmm…thankfully, my cooking is much better than my writing……
The initial thought of preparing “clam chowder” might be overwhelming, but after reading the instructions, you will discover that preparation is rather simple. In this recipe, potatoes and onions are sautéed with bacon drippings to which milk, cream and clams are added, resulting in a rich, creamy and hearty soup. If the sound of that appeals to your taste buds, then you really must try making this delectable clam chowder!
Fresh clams for this dish would probably be very costly. But, if canned clams and bottled clam juice are not available, and you are willing to treat yourself, by all means buy live clams and follow the instructions below.
It was painstaking trying to find canned clams without preservatives, it wasn’t in stock at the time at my local natural food store. I even considered buying it from Amazon, but my sister finally found discovered it at the Whole Foods on 14th Street. I was skeptical about using clam juice in the bottle, but the product we found didn't contain any preservatives, just pure clam juice which added delicious concentrated clam flavor to the soup.
CWR's New England Clam Chowder
2 (10 ounce) canned clams; OR fresh shucked clams with their juice
4 slices bacon, diced
½ cup onion, diced
1-2 Russet or Yukon gold potato, diced (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup clam juice(8 ounces)
1 medium bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley, for garnish
--The two 10 ounce canned clams was alot. If you don't want too many clams, decrease the amount--two 6.5 ounces canned clams will also work in this case.
--If using Live clams: Clean the clams (about 4 pounds) and place in a large pot along with 2 garlic cloves and two inches of water. Cover pan and steam until just opened, about 6-8 minutes. Drain and shell clams over a bowl to catch liquid. Remove meat and chop to desired size. Strain liquid to remove grit----and use in place of the canned clams and bottled clam juice called for in the recipe above.
Peel and Dice Onion & Potatoes
In a heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven, slowly cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon, leaving the drippings(3 tablespoons only) in the pot.
What's wrong with this picture??-Firstly, I forgot to slice the bacon, Secondly, fry the bacon in the same pot you are going to make the chowder in...
Stir in the chopped onion, and sauté for 3-6 minutes, until soft and translucent, but not brown.
Add the potatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add butter and flour and cook until the flour has been absorbed by the butter.
Add clam juice, bay leaf and thyme, raise heat to high, stir and bring to a boil.
Immediately reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.
Stir in clams, milk and cream. Using the back of a spoon, mash a spoonful of potato to thicken soup.
Cook until soup is heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, to taste.
Garnish with bacon and parsley and serve hot. Great the same day, even more fabulous the next!
p.s. As I am finishing this post, I hear him screaming Yes! Yes! ...and Clapping....and then Screaming wildly----some more....men are weird (and fascinating) creatures......and my mom used to also say that empty vessels make the most noise, so I better go serve him some clam chowder...talk to you soon...
Thanks for stopping by,
Cooking with love and delicious clammy stuff for a friend,