Sunday, October 3, 2010

Clam Chowder

Finally we are having wonderful Fall weather. The skies are overcast, it is drizzling and the weather is cool. Soup time. And better than that.....chowda' time. I love a good clam chowder but there is a lot of bad stuff out there. You know what I am talking about. The gluey, pasty stuff you can stand your spoon up in it. Ugh! True calm chowder does not come close to that awful stuff.

This is the lineup for the good stuff.

Dice the onions into small pieces.

Cook about 8 slices of bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and use for something else but leave the bacon grease in the pot.

Add the onion to the hot bacon grease and sprinkle it with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and dried thyme. Stir this around and cook over medium heat until the onions start to become transparent.

Add the diced celery.

Then add a stick of butter.

Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of flour and stir it in and cook for a bit to get rid of the floury taste. Add a quart or more of clams with their juice which should be a good two cups. If you don't have enough clam juice, add canned clam juice. Then pour in about 4 cups of whole milk.

Cube the potatoes. Don't peel them! The size of the potatoes seems to always be controversial. Some people believe they should be small cubes. Others like large chunks. I make them as big as my mood. As you can see I was in semi good mood when I made this.

Add two bay leaves.

Simmer the soup over low heat until the potatoes are tender. Taste to adjust the seasoning.

This is such an easy soup to make. You can use fresh clams and steam them then chop them. You can buy diced clams at the fish store or you can use canned. This recipe also works as a fish chowder by adding a flakey white fish or salmon. You can also add shrimp and lobster! But for a true New England clam chowder, follow the recipe as I showed it.

Mmmmm....bring on Sunday football.

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