Thursday, November 13, 2014

Clam Chowder

     I loves me some clam chowder. I fondly remember ordering at family restaurants and getting that sickly white, ultra-thick concoction that smelled faintly of a fire on a fishing boat. I couldn't get enough of that stuff. Then I grew up and realized that it wasn't really supposed to look or taste like that and I'm very lucky I didn't get food poisoning and die from dysentery.

Or snakebite. Always the damned snakebite.
     I was glad to find a recipe for clam chowder that I feel is a bit closer to the intended look and taste. I can't say for sure as I've never had clam chowder in New England. I imagine it would taste just like this, but everyone would be talking with funny accents about how they're going "to wahk theah dahg in Havahd Pahk aftah dahk." This soup was fantastic and will enter the regular rotation. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Clam Chowder
via Best-Ever Soups

  • 3-3/4 oz salt pork or thinly sliced unsmoked bacon (let's just derail right away and use a half pound of bacon. BACON FTW!)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (we used a Vidalia, figuring the sweetness would work well here)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 bay leaf (remember to remove bay leaves before serving! Leave that bay leaf in there and you'll choke like the St. Louis Blues in a Stanley Cup Playoff)
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig (none on hand. I used about 1/8 tsp. dried thyme)
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 14 oz cooked clams, cooking liquid reserved (we used 3 cans at 6.5 oz each. Go big or go home. Unless you're already at home. Then maybe go outside)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt (I used pink Himalayan. Not even kidding), ground white pepper (a scant 1/8 tsp) and cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp)
  • Finely chopped parsley, to garnish
  1. Put the bacon (who are you fooling with the salt pork? We know you're using bacon) in a pan (we used the trusty enameled Dutch oven) and heat gently, stirring frequently, until the fat runs and the meat is starting to brown.
  2. Add the chopped onion and fry over a low heat until softened but not brown.
  3. Add the potato, bay leaf and thyme. Stir well to coat with fat, then pour in the milk and clam liquid; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender but still firm. Lift out the bay leaf (OR CHOKE AND DIE) and the thyme sprig (if you used it) and discard them.
  4. Remove the shells from most of the clams (AHAHAHA, no. My butler was too busy synchronizing all of my Rolex watches. As previously stated, I used canned clams). Add all the clams to the pot and season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne.
  5. Simmer gently for 5 minutes more, then stir in the cream. Heat until the soup is very hot, but do not allow it to boil. Pour into a tureen (the butler knows where the tureen is kept, but as mentioned, he was busy with my Rolexes. I used regular bowls). Garnish with chopped parsley and serve. 
Good Times!


  1. Certainly sounds yummy....but are you sure there's NO WINE in this soup???

    1. Positive. The original recipe did not call for wine. I considered deglazing with wine after cooking the bacon, but didn't feel like cracking a new bottle.