February 4, 2007
Dianne's Kicked Up Clam Chowder
I love New England clam chowder. I mean I LOVE it! I have loved New England clam chowder since I was a child and for years I have ordered it at restaurants whenever I had the chance. A few years ago I set out to make some myself. I'll admit at first I was a bit intimidated, because it's yet another one of those recipes that have a "hard" mystique about it, though it's a mystique that is unfounded as I've found with many recipes over the years that have that aura about them . So I developed a basic clam chowder that was creamy and good!
A year or so ago I happened to try the clam chowder at Outback Steakhouse and it had a zing to it. It took me about two seconds to realize their "zing" was Old Bay Seasoning or something like it and I decided to take my basic clam chowder recipe and add a little Old Bay and see what happened. The results were delicious!
What You'll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 large celery ribs or 4 small ribs, chopped
1 potato, unpeeled and cut into small cubes
1 pinch of sea salt
1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning (Add the amount of Old Bay in preference to your own tastes. If you want it a bit zingier go for the tablespoon, less so go for the teaspoons instead.)
1/4 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
2 - 8 ounce bottles of clam juice
1/2 a quart of half and half
3 bay leaves
1 -15 ounce cans of steamer or baby clams, drained and rinsed(If you're in the mood for bigger clams go for the steamers. If you've in the mood for small bits of clams then go for the baby clams. Last night I chose the steamer clams.)
In a large stock pot over medium heat sauté onion, celery and potato with salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning until tender, but celery and onion still retain some of their color. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add clam juice, half and half and bay leaves and bring to a quick boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook covered stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes. Add clams and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes and serve immediately.
Notes: I drain and rinse my clams because sometimes there is some residual sand and it's always better to wash that away.
You add the clams at the last minure because you just want them to heat through since they are already cooked. You don't want them to get too tough.
You can also serve this with chopped parsley if you like.
If you leave out the Old Bay seasoning you have just basic New England clam chowder.
One day I'm going to make it starting with fresh clams, but I haven't gotten that brave yet.
Posted by Dianne at February 4, 2007 1:29 PM
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I am making this recipe as I type -- my laptop is propped up on the kitchen counter and I've just reached the simmer-the-veggies stage. I'll be posting about it tomorrow, of course with kudos to your site. Oh, and I love the Bay seasoning idea!
Posted by: Neen at July 30, 2008 11:29 PM
I hope you enjoyed this soup! It's one of my all times favorites. :o)
Posted by: Dianne at July 31, 2008 1:57 PM