Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New England Clam Chowder Recipe

Clams must be cooked on the day of purchase, so when you find great clams, make sure you also have all the ingredients in your kitchen for this fabulous soup.

13⁄4 (800g) clams, thoroughly washed
1 tbsp oil
4oz (115g) thick-cut bacon strips, diced
2 floury potatoes, such as Russet Burbank, peeled
and cut into chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup half-and-half
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

  • Discard any open clams, then shell the rest, reserving the juices (see page 279). Add enough water to the juices to make 2 cups. Chop the clams. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan, and fry the bacon over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until crisp. Remove.
  • Add the potatoes and onion and fry gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour for 2 minutes, then add the clam juice and milk, and season. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Add the clams and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half and reheat without boiling. Serve sprinkled with bacon and parsley, and provide saltines or oyster crackers on the side.

Manhattan cod and mussel chowder
Replace the clams with 21⁄4lb (1kg) mussels, adding 1 cup of dry white wine to the juices before topping up with water. When adding the potatoes, add 2 x 14oz (400g) cans tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, and 1–2 tbsp tomato purée. Use only half the flour and replace the milk with fish stock. Add 21⁄4lb (1kg) cod fillets, cut into chunks, at the start of step 3. Omit the half-and-half. Sprinkle with thyme and serve with whole wheat bread.

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