Thursday, September 17, 2009

New England Clam "Chowda"

Tasty Thursday Feature

I've been going through clam chowder withdrawal since coming home from our New England trip earlier in August. It seemed like we devoured whole pots of it while we were there - yet we never got sick of it! Maybe gained a few pounds... but let's not focus on that :)

I found this chowder recipe from Emeril Lagasse. Haven't tried it out yet, but here's hoping it's as delicious as the "homegrown" kind ;) If not, I'm just gonna have ta get in the cah, drive to Bahston, and go to a bah to get more chowda!

New England Clam Chowder
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2001

Level: Easy
Serves: 6 to 8 main course servings


* 8 pounds small quahogs or large cherrystone clams, scrubbed and rinsed, opened clams discarded
* 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
* 1 cup finely chopped celery
* 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
* 2 bay leaves
* 3 cups 1/2-inch cubed, peeled potatoes, about 1 1/4 pounds
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Salt
* 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 1/2-teaspoon pieces
* 1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
* 1/4 cup finely chopped chives or green onions


In a large stockpot bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add clams, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, quickly stir clams with a wooden spoon. Cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer (this will depend on the type and size of clams you are using), or until most of the clams are opened.
Transfer the clams to a large bowl or baking dish and strain the broth twice through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, being careful to strain out the sand. (You should have about 6 cups of clam broth. If not, add enough water to bring the volume up to 6 cups.) When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set clams and broth aside.

In a large heavy pot cook the bacon until crisp and the fat is rendered. Pour off all bacon fat except 2 tablespoons. Add the butter, onions and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves, and cook until the vegetables are thoroughly wilted, about 3 minutes, being careful not to brown. Add the potatoes and reserved clam broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broth thickens slightly and the potatoes are very tender. (If you like a thicker broth, mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.) Remove from the heat, stir in clams and heavy cream and season with pepper and salt, if necessary.

Set aside for 1 hour, covered, to allow the flavors to marry. Place the pot over low heat, and slowly reheat, being careful not to bring to the boil. Serve hot, garnished with 1 or 2 pats of butter, parsley and chives.

Do you have any favourite clam chowder recipes you would recommend?



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