After watching the miserable Patriots game, I had to drown my sorrows in a glass of wine and some cooking. Here’s how the clam chowder went…
Week: 2 of 52
Cookbook: New England Clam Shack Cookbook
You start by soaking chopped clams, which you can get in the seafood section of the supermarket. These are “sea clams” or “chowder clams” which are different than your standard littleneck. I think next time I would go through the extra trouble of getting fresh clams, steaming them and shucking them to add to the chowder. The chopped clams were fine and local, but if you can get them fresh, why not?
While the clams soak, this recipe calls for rendering the fat from diced salt pork. Some recipes call for bacon, and I would definitely try it again with that method. Once done, you pull out the salt pork and toss in chopped celery and onion to soften the vegetables. Once soft, you add the potatoes, some of the liquid from the clams, and water and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
Once tender, add the clams and light cream (that makes it slightly less unhealthy, right?) and stir to combine. You bring this to a simmer and then add milk if more liquid is needed. There was enough liquid and I actually prefer my chowder thicker than it was at this point, so I made a quick slurry (cornstarch + water) and blended that in to thicken a little. Alternately, you could add flour to the softened onion & celery and the thickener would be present from the beginning.
I let this simmer for a while to get the flavors happy, and then served when we were ready to eat. With a little bread, it was a very tasty dinner! And no, I did not eat that whole loaf of bread!
- Chopped (or fresh) clams
- Salt pork (or bacon)
- Red-skinned potatoes
- Light cream
- All-Clad Cookware