Finally the cold weather has arrived in Southeastern Ohio so a warm comforting soup is in order. In our area, clams aren't readily available and when they are it is the little neck clam variety.
Typically when making chowder you want to use the larger quahog or top neck clams for a more intense flavor. I recently came across a store that had chopped clams in the seafood freezer section that were beautiful.
Clam Chowder 20 ounces of chopped clams 64 ounces of clam juice 2 cups of vegetable stock 3 tbsp butter 2 stalks of celery - diced 1 medium onion - diced 6 baby red potatoes - diced 4 thick cut slices of baked cut into 1/4 inch pieces 3 tbsp flour 3 bay leafs 1 tsp. thyme 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp freshly ground pepper 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
In a heavy pot on medium high heat saute the bacon. Once crisp remove the bacon and set aside leaving the bacon grease in the pan. Add the butter. When the butter is melted add the celery and onions. Saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the flour gradually stirring continuously. Cook the flour coated vegetables for about 1 minute to cook the flour.
Add remaining ingredients with the exception of the cream(clams, clam juice, stock, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper). Bring the chowder up to a gentle boil. Allow to boil for about a minute. Let simmer for about an hour stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Add the cream in about 15 minutes before you are ready to serve.
Food is so intriguing. I’ve always loved to cook whether it’s casual and simple or complicated and elegant. After living in the Midwestern United States all my life I find myself jumping between All-American foods and foods from other cultures. There is definitely a sense of comfort with cooking and enjoying food that I’ve grown up with.
I have a voracious curiosity to learn about all cultures, especially the Middle East/Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai foods. I’ve learned that a simple curry dish or an Asian dumpling can transform your mood and be just as much of a comfort food as the foods you’ve known you’re whole life.
It is fascinating to me how each culture has such a diversity of ingredients, and when used with different combinations and cooking techniques you can easily transform the same few ingredients into a multitude of dishes. The unfamiliar, the diverse ingredients and techniques, can be intimidating to many people. I’ve created this blog to chronicle and share my explorations in the kitchen so that hopefully you will want to start experimenting in your kitchen.