Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Clam Chowder Day

Its going to rain here, so the Soup Nazi comes out in me:) We have now enjoyed over 3 weeks of beautiful sunny and warm weather, so I guess its our turn.
Just one time I'd like to say " No Soup For You!!" But I know that I never would. I keep a beloved sign on my counter that says Be Nice Or Go Home! Its more true to my kitchen, but the soup Nazi makes me laugh. Did you peoples try the Seafood Chowder in December? This is my Old School Clam chowder, and I will put it up against ANY here on the central coast. Maybe cause its the kids favorite too. Maybe like the Poem at the inauguration, its my Praise, Song of the day? Could be its just that song... "Proud". I know! Its just damned good Soup!
*remember* She fed her family, and she feels full.

Clam Chowder

3- 8-ounce bottles clam juice
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces(1 large russet)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
4 slices bacon, chopped small
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery with leaves, (about 2 stalks)
½ cup minced carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3- 6 1/2-oz cans chopped clams, drained, liquid reserved
3- 6 ½ oz cans minced clams, drained, liquid reserved
1 1/4 cups half and half
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce(like tabasco) ( I ONLY serve this on the side, for Walt)

Bring bottled clam juice and potatoes to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, carrot, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, half and half. Simmer chowder 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Remove and discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before serving.) Be mindful of scorching.

Serve with a crusty french bread, or a sour dough bowl!!, OK, and wine. ( what? You didnt think that I would forget that did you?)

My Notes:

You can also get the large tins of clam juice, and/or clams at smart n final, just be sure to get liquid measurements correct. The reasons for the 2 different kinds of clams is basically size and texture in every bite. In testing, using both are best.

DO NOT use a maple bacon, your taste will be “off”, also, be certain to chop finely so that your bite is a clam, not the bacon, and crisp up but not to lose the bacon fat. It’s the best foundation for this soup.

This is even better the day after, so for a holiday you can make it the day before and its out of your hair!
Can be increased several times


ljsunflower said...

Gina, I love you girl but you gotta be kidding about the "poem", right? It sucked big time. Just saying.
As far as the clam chowder - yummy!

Lynn Douglass said...

Oh, Gina, God bless you! You don't know how much I love a good clam chowder, and as I told you at Road, I've been waiting for this! You think you're easily amused! LOL! What can I say? I'm easy! ;-)

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