I've been thinking of summer by the ocean. We go to the ocean in the fall but thinking about lazy summer days by the beach made me crave clam chowder. Here is a really good recipe for New England Clam Chowder.
Don't yell at me but you start with bacon grease! Melt it in a large heavy pot.
Dice a large sweet onion and begin sauteeing it over medium heat.
Add sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Also add dried thyme at this point.
Chop about 4 large stalks of celery. Add it to the onions. Also cube 4-5 baking potatoes unpeeled and cubed in about 1 inch cubes. ( I forgot to take a pic of the potatoes...don't be hatin').
Use any fresh herbs you have growing. I added sage, rosemary, fresh thyme and tarragon. I love tarragon with seafood but it has a very pronounced flavor so add accordingly or not at all.
Chop them fine.
Pick 3 bay leaves or use 2 dried
I always cut my bay leaves at an angle up and down the leaf to release more flavor.
Add the bay leaves and chopped herbs to the potatoes and onions.
Add two cans of clam juice. Always wipe the lids before opening. All kinds of yucky things lay on top of cans in the super market!
Add at least a quart of chopped clams along with the clam juice.
Mix everything together with a spoon and simmer over medium/low heat.
Though this is not typical for New England Clam Chowder, I happened to have left over corn on the cob so I cut it off the cob and added it as well.
Simmer for about 1 hour. When the potatoes are just tender add about 2 cups whole milk. Gently bring it back to a simmer over low heat then dab with butter.
Ladle into a bowl
I served it with caramelized butter thyme bread. Pretend you are eating at a clam shack by the beach!
The peaches should be ready by mid July.
Peach pies, peach cobbler, peach jam.....
The onions are growing..
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