Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Clam Chowder

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.

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