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Friday, December 31, 2010

Two Great Clam Chowder Recipes

I have a good friend, a former classmate from high school, who lives back in Maine. He was the one who sent the clam chowdah casserole recipe (which sounds delicious). I asked him if he had a recipe for just plain clam chowder . . . or "chowdah." He sent these two recipes:

Here are two clam chowder recipes. This first one is what we make at home. While it calls for 2 cans (20 oz. total) of minced clams, we prefer 1-1/2 pounds of fresh clams, minced a little larger than what you would get in a can. If the fresh clams, in your supermarket's seafood section, have been frozen, go with the canned clams. Frozen clams lose their flavor.
4 slices bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups water
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
3 cups half-and-half
3 tablespoons butter
2 (10 ounce) cans minced clams
Place diced bacon in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook until almost crisp; add onions, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in water and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
Pour in half-and-half, and add butter. Drain clams, reserving clam liquid; stir clams and 1/2 of the clam liquid into the soup. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Do not allow to boil.
Serves 6 (supposedly. More like 3.)


This one is from a resort Sharon, and I, have spent several long weekends at in Maine, called The Cliff House. It has been on their menu since 1872, when the Weare family first opened it. The US Army took over the place during WWII, to use as a submarine observation post, and nearly destroyed it. After extensive restoration, the family reopened it, and it has been in operation ever since. Their weekend packages include dinners, and I've never failed to pick this. A bit spicier, but ever so good! This recipe comes right from their website, in the dining section. Please note their mention of what is known as 'Manhattan Clam Chowder'. Ugh! If you want Boulibase, ask for Boulibase. Clam Chowder doesn't have tomatoes. Boulibase does!
Maine Luxury Oceanfront Resort near York and Ogunquit

Cliff House Clam Chowder
Clam Chowder has been on the menu since 1872. Guests always tell us how exceptional it is. This recipe won a coveted award at the Boston Harbor Fest in July 2003. All of you non-New Englanders will please note there are no tomatoes to be seen anywhere near this soup pot. The very mention of that “other place’s” version causes the Weare family to shudder. The Maine legislature once introduced a bill to outlaw forever the adulteration of Maine Clam Chowdah with that dreaded red interloper. This recipe is fun to make,
but the missing ingredient just may be eating it while longing for our dining room view of the vast Atlantic.

Shopping List
3 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
6 slices apple wood smoked bacon
½ cup white onion, diced
½ cup celery, diced
1 large ear of native corn, kernels removed
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
⅛ teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
⅛ teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 cups clams, finely chopped
1 ½ cups clam broth
3 cups heavy cream
⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
1½ cups potato, peeled and diced
5 drops Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

1. In a 4-quart pot, melt butter and sauté bacon until golden brown. Add diced
onions and celery, and sauté until tender and translucent.
2. Place corn kernels on a small sheet pan and roast at 350ºF for approximately
6 minutes. Set aside when finished.
3. Add clam broth, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco Sauce, potatoes and fresh herbs to the 4-quart pot. Cook for approximately 13 minutes to soften potatoes and incorporate flavors. Add heavy cream, chopped clams and corn. Bring to a boil and thicken with equal parts arrowroot and water.
Serves 5
There is another version, omitting the corn. Equally good.


Now, if your cholesterol is too low, here is a remedy. My own invention for Seafood Fettucini Alfredo.

1 jar Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce (Classico or 3 Brothers are my favorites)
2 cans (6-1/2 oz) baby shrimp
2 cans (6-1/2 oz) minced clams (1 pound fresh)
1/2 pound chopped scallops
wedge of parmesan cheese
4 slices diced bacon.
2 tablespoons butter
fettucini (quantity to suit)

Saute bacon until nearly done, add Butter and Scallops, and saute until scallops are golden brown.
In a 2 quart saucepan, add scallops, bacon, shrimp, and clams, to the Alfredo Sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes to meld the flavors.
While the sauce is simmering, prepare the fettucini (al Dente, or a slight resistance in the center when chewed.)

Serve fetticini portion, and pour on the desired amount of sauce. (If you're me, that's about 1/2 the pan). Add freshly ground black pepper to suit, and top with freshly grated parmesan.

Goes beautifully with a chilled Reisling.
Your cholesterol should be well above acceptable levels in about an hour.

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