I'm in the middle of what I hope turns out to be a delicious batch of braised lamb shanks, but in the meantime, I thought I'd post this clam chowder recipe for you to try, and hopefully report back. Please see the cookbook-bound written recipe following the photo. Thanks and enjoy!
New England Clam Chowder
Makes 6 servings
1 pound little neck clams, washed
1 cup water
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 (10-ounce) cans whole clams, drained
2 cups cold clam juice (note part of this may be made up from the drained canned clam liquid, but clam juice has a stronger clam flavor)
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh chopped parsley to garnish
oyster cracker to garnish
Bring one cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the little neck clams, cover tightly, and cook for a couple minutes, until the clams open. Remove the clams to a bowl and reserve. Stain the cooking liquid and reserve.
In large saucepan, over medium heat, cook the bacon in the butter until almost crisp. Remove the bacon with slotted spoon and reserve, leaving the butter and rendered bacon fat in the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the onions. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the cold clam juice, slowly at first. Add the reserved clam cooking liquid. Bring back to a simmer and add the potatoes. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Note: at this point some chowder heads like to smash some of the potatoes against the bottom of the pan with a masher to add body to the soup. Optional!
Stir in the canned clams, milk, and cream. Reduce heat to low, and cook until just heated through. Do not boil. Add the reserved little neck clams, and cook for another minute. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
Serve hot topped with the reserved bacon, parley, and oyster crackers.