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New England Clam Chowder

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a good recipe for New England Clam Chowder. Also
Clam Fritters. I had them years ago in Rhode Island and thought I would like to try them again.
post #2 of 6
This is a pretty subjective topic actually. There are a lot of good ones. And the whole issue of "authenticity" usually rears its head as well.

Generally, recipes based on fresh clams tend to be the best. I rarely see fresh clams so I usually use canned clams.

This is the recipe I make most often. You can make it with fresh clams or canned clams. I like it best served in bread bowls.

3/4Cmelted butter

1large or 2 medium potato, diced in a 1/2-3/4 inch dice
1Ccelery, diced
1largeonion, diced fine
1/4teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 bay leaves
12shots hot pepper sauce, depending on your desire for fire
3C clam juice
1qthalf and half
3C clams, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon

Melt the butter over medium heat in an oven proof container and stir in the flour until the lumps are gone. Put the container in the oven at 325 for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine remaining ingredients except half and half and clams. Simmer until potatoes are thoroughly cooked. Whisk the roux again to break up any lumps and stir roux mixture into chowder and stir until thick. Mixture will be thick and dough-like.

Remove chowder from heat. Stir in clams and half and half until blended. If you want a soupier chowder, add more milk to your desired consistency.

Heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally. DO NOT BOIL. If you boil the chowder, the dairy curdles, separates and become watery as well as making the clams tough and rubbery. Stir in the lemon juice.

NOTES: Doing the roux in the oven isn't absolutely necessary, but it does simplify things. You don't have to pay much attention to the roux and it won't burn while you get the rest of ingredients cooking. Once you have made this recipe once or twice, you'll learn to time the roux and simmering to finish at the same time which makes the dish very simple.

As to the three cups of clams and three cups of clam juice, that is a lot. I use a 51 oz can of clams (Costco item, but i've seen similar sizes elsewhere). You have extra clams and juice with this can which I usually make into some dip, or you could do your fritters. There is nothing wrong with using the whole can of juice and omitting the 1 cup of water in the ingredients list. It will have a higher than usual density of clam meat though.

I also use only about 1/3 of the salt listed and don't miss it. But I'm on a reduced sodium diet.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #3 of 6
What do you think of that recipe Shel?

I've had salt pork versions I've liked but bacon's smoke just strikes me wrong with clams.

A few years back, my sisters did a drive up the West Coast from San Diego to Seattle and made it a point to sample clam chowder all along the way. When they got back, they tried mine as I posted above. Their first question was, "Did it have bacon in it". A number of their top chowders had had bacon. They ranked mine within the top two or three of the ones they had tried on that trip.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #4 of 6
I didn't use hickory smoked bacon, but, rather, some applewood bacon trimmed of most of the fat - so two, closely trimmed slices of bacon were used. Nor did I use the clams as described in the recipe. The fish guy gave me a bunch of fresh clams which ended up being a lot more clams, and better tasting clams, than canned. Frozen clams might be good as well. I used what may well have turned out to be more potatoes - Yukon Gold - and added a bit of cayenne pepper.

It turned out pretty well - certainly enjoyable - but not the ultimate clam chowder. There are a dozen or so more that I nay try either as is or with some adjustments. I do like some bacon in the chowder.

Your recipe looks good, and it's been saved to try later.

post #5 of 6
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

clam chowder

Phatch, Shel and Stir it up. These sound like some good recipes I cant wait to try them. PJ
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