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Double Creamy Clam Chowder

I have searched a long time for the right combination of ingredients to make perfect New England style clam chowder.  Finally I believe I have succeeded.  I never go to a seafood restaurant in New England without sampling their chowder, and mentally breaking down their recipe.  Unfairly perhaps, but often I decide on returning or not based on their chowder.  This is my version of one of the world's great comfort foods.

2 strips   bacon
4 tablespoons   unsalted butter, divided
3 medium   potatoes cut into ½ cubes
2 cups   heavy cream
1 cup  light cream
1 medium   onion, chopped
4-6 ounce cans   Snow's minced clams with juice
1 tablespoon   fresh lemon juice
2 cloves   garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons   flour
½ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper

Allow the clams to drain well reserving the juice (should be about 2 cups.)  Slice the bacon into ¼" strips and sauté in a large pot.  After rendering the bacon fat but before it crisps add the onion and 2 tablespoons butter and sauté until the onion is softened.  Add the pressed garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and reserved clam juice.  Return to a boil and allow to simmer, uncovered,  for about 15 minutes.

Add the potatoes and cook for about 7 minutes or until the potatoes start to get soft.   Add the minced clams and all the cream.  While that is returning to a simmer melt the remaining butter and add the flour combining to make a roux.  Add this to the pot a spoonful at a time ands stir  until the desired thickness is obtained.  Allow everything to simmer gently for about 15 minutes adjusting for salt and pepper.

Serve with oyster crackers, a salad and fresh bread.  Enjoy!


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