New England Clam Chowder

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I was born and raised in New England. Most of my life was spent living in Connecticut, but we also lived in Northern Maine for six years when I was younger. It’s beautiful country but it can get pretty cold and snowy! I’ve always loved clam chowder, and there are many different versions depending which region or state you are in and which immigrants had an influence on the dish. Vermont and Rhode Island chowder is made with a clear broth without cream or flour, or very little, used to thicken the broth. Manhattan clam chowder has a red color to it,  influenced by the Portuguese immigrants who introduced tomatoes to the broth. If you travel down to St Augustine Florida, you’ll find Minorcan Clam Chowder on the menu. This chowder is a combination of  the Manhattan version and their own tomato based chowder containing Datil peppers introduced by the Minorcan immigrants for a nice spicy twist. Although all of these are delicious, the creamy New England version is still my favorite. Those roots run deep as they say!

With all the snow my family and friends up north  have been getting these last few weeks, I’m sure they could use a big bowl of chowder! As for me, I’m living in Florida now, but I was longing for this dish and made some this week.

Gather all of your ingredients and follow me. The full recipe is at the end of this post. You can use fresh clams, and that would be awesome, but this time I used some nice canned chopped clams from Bar Harbor Maine that I found in my grocery store.

imageGet your ingredients prepped by dicing your bacon, onions, celery, and potatoes into about a 1/2″ dice.

imageMelt the butter in a little olive oil and render the bacon until crispy.

imageMeanwhile, drain your chopped clams and reserve the clam juice.
imageAdd the diced onions and celery to the pot with your bacon and sauté until softened but not brown. Season with a little salt and pepper.imageStir in the flour to coat the bacon and vegetables, and cook the flour, stirring , for about 2 minutes to form a blond roux.

imageStir in the reserved clam juice, along with the bottled clam juice and thyme and stir to combine. Simmer until thickened to a cream consistency.
imageAdd your diced potatoes to the pot and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

imageFinally add the half n half, hot sauce,Worcestershire sauce and sherry, simmer until thickened, and the favors blend. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with oyster crackers and crusty French bread. Enjoy!

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New England Clam Chowder  (yield 6-8 servings)

1 Tbs Olive Oil

1Tbs Butter

3 c Diced Potatoes

1 c Diced Celery

1 1/2 c Diced  Yellow Onion

4 Slices Diced Bacon

3 cans Chopped Clams, drained and juice reserved.

1 8 oz Bottle a clam Juice

3 c Half n Half

1 tsp Dried Thyme

5 Dashes Hot Sauce

1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 c Sherry

1. Get your ingredients prepped by dicing your bacon, onions, celery, and potatoes into about a 1/2″ dice.

2. Over medium heat melt the butter in a little olive oil and render the bacon until crispy.

3. Meanwhile, drain your chopped clams and reserve the clam juice.

4. Add the diced onions and celery to the pot with your bacon and sauté until softened but not brown. Season with a little salt and pepper.

5. Stir in the flour to coat the bacon and vegetables, and cook the flour, stirring , for about 2 minutes to form a blond roux.

6. Stir in the reserved clam juice, along with the bottled clam juice and thyme and stir to combine. Simmer until thickened to a cream consistency.

7. Add your diced potatoes to the pot and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

8. Finally add the half n half, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sherry, simmer until thickened, and the favors blend. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with oyster crackers and crusty French bread.

Enjoy!

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