Sunday, September 5, 2010

Clam chowder - week of 35 of 52

After spending some time in Boston area and trying many clam chowders, was inspired to try my to make some at home. I found this recipe from Barefoot Contessa, who never fails to impress!

My first though – where am I going to find clam juice??? I know it’s in Clamato, but is it even carried on regular grocery stores? The first grocery store I went to didn’t carry it and in the second grocery store I looked in the seafood section, nothing there, but finally found clam juice next to canned tuna.

For the clams instead of canned clams, I bought a couple of pounds of fresh clams. I don’t know how to shuck clams (or own a shucker) so I steamed them open to get at the clams. Much easier! I read some of the comments for the recipe and followed some tips – added some half and half instead of milk for a thicker chowder and also added some chicken stock to the clam juice for a more flavourful soup. Save some of the clams for garnish & topping the soup.

This recipe is super simple, but patience required because there is lot of chopping. This chowder is some of the best I’ve had! It comes close to the “Boston Chowda” chowder in Boston.

Bon app├ętit!

East Hampton Clam Chowder – courtesy of Barefoot Contessa
Cost $$
Rating (out of 5) *****
Serves 6-8


• 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
• 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
• 2 cups medium-diced celery (4 stalks)
• 2 cups medium-diced carrots (6 carrots)
• 4 cups peeled medium-diced boiling potatoes (8 potatoes)
• 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 quart (4 cups) clam juice
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups milk
• 3 cups chopped fresh chowder clams (1 1/2 pounds shucked clams)

Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 more minutes. Add the clam juice, bring to a boil, and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a small pot, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour. Cook over very low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in a cup of the hot broth and then pour this mixture back into the cooked vegetables. Simmer for a few minutes until the broth is thickened.

Add the milk and clams and heat gently for a few minutes to cook the clams. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot

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