Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Clam Chowder (makes about 4 quarts)



Luckily I have chopped mahogany clam that I saved in the freezer since I feel like making chowder today.  These were live clams when I got them off the boat last week.  I have eaten many clam chowders living here in New England.  Most of the chowder is thick, creamy and rich in taste.  Instead of heavy cream I prefer to make my chowder on the lighter side using half and half and some sort of a seafood broth or clam broth.  You can make your own clam broth by reserving the water after steaming the clams or buy it in a container from the market.  I did not add salt to this chowder since the broth already has enough sodium.  Fresh thyme is a mild herb to use if you want an alternative to parsley.  You can also omit the herb from the chowder.  I added the butter beans for extra protein in this chowder so it can be more filling.  In the summer I like to add fresh butter and sugar corn in my chowder.

Thank you Rimrack Fish for the fresh and tasty clams!  Please see information below if you are interested in purchasing fresh off the boat sea life from them.

Ingredients:

3 slices of good bacon, chopped
3 1/2 oz chopped onion (about 1 medium size)
About 32 FL oz or 950 mL seafood or clam stock
5 medium size Yukon potatoes (about 1.5 lbs), diced
4 celery heart sticks (about 6 oz), chopped
1 1/2 C (about 7 oz of clam meat) mahogany clam, chopped
1 oz parsley stem, chopped (optional)
3/4 oz flat leaf parsley, chopped or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
15.5 oz (1 can) Goya butter bean, drained and rinsed (optional)
32 FL oz or 946 mL half and half
2 t Better Than Bouillon lobster base
1/4 t freshly ground white pepper
2 T cornstarch mixed with 2 T water (add more cornstarch if you prefer a thicker chowder)

Method:

1) Heat at least a 5-quart pot over medium high heat.
2) Once the pot is hot add bacon and saute for 1 minute.
3) Add onion and saute for 1 minute.
4) Stir in the broth.  Add potato, celery, and clam.  Turn heat to high.
5) Once the broth starts to boil, turn heat down to low, cover the pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
6) Add parsley stem, cover the pot and at let it simmer for 20 more minutes.
7) Add parsley leaves, beans, half and half, white pepper, and lobster base, cover pot and simmer and 10 minutes.
8) Stir in cornstarch mixture and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
9) Serve hot.

Fire
*F/V (fishing vessel) Rimrack is a family owned fishing business located in beautiful Rye Harbor, NH. Thank you Rimrack for the amazingly fresh and tasty sea life!!  Please support and buy from your local fishermen.  If you are interested in buying from F/V Rimrack please visit their website:  
http://www.rimrackfish.com.  Rimrack staff is very friendly and helpful and they will happily assist you. They can also be found on Facebook.
*The photo (above) is from my fireplace. I like the heat from the fire in my home especially when it is freezing outside.  The water from some of the melting snow and recent rain has turned to ice tonight. 

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