It's a good thing I like to make a second batch of something I've recently discovered or developed, especially if I've shared it with others. I got a hankering for more of that fabulous Clam Chowder I posted about a week ago, and I was about a third
of the way through the recipe when I realized there wasn't enough liquid. After a quick double check of the original recipe (which, of course, I'd altered), I realized I forgot to include 2 cups of broth, and about half a cup of Half and Half when I wrote
the recipe for all the world to see. So the following recipe has been edited to — I hope — correct my goofs. This time around I also added a pinch of cayenne pepper. That came from a Google search I did on "seasonings for Clam Chowder". You wouldn't believe
how many spices and herbs some people use! I opted to stay with the subtle approach, but decided a little zing wouldn't hurt and thus the cayenne. My original post follows, with the edits only in the recipe. Happy slurping ;)
Out of the blue, I got it in my head to make clam chowder from scratch. I've had some great canned clam chowder, and some really fabulous restaurant clam chowders — some thicker than others, some more clammy than others — but I wanted to try developing a "signature
clam chowder" ... which is to say, I wanted it to be everything I most love about clam chowder.
We've all ordered the kind that's so thick your spoon will stand on end when inserted into the chowder. That's my least favorite kind. Right on the heels of that type is the one with the sand not fully washed from the clam, so each bite is gritty. I'm
not fond of that either. There's the kind that's more brothy but is greasy from what I think (hope) is butter. And there's the kind in which ingredients appear that really don't belong there: like bits of artichoke, for instance.
My ideal when setting out was to create a clam chowder with a nice flavorful (clammy) broth, with a few supporting veggies and milk or cream, but nothing that would overpower the subtle clam flavor I wanted to achieve.
Here's what I did: I Googled "Clam Chowder Recipe" and found one that looked promising. Then I read the reviews and it still looked promising, but I got a few ideas. So here's the recipe that came of it:
2 tbsp. butter
2 shallots, chopped thin
1/2 yellow onion, chopped thin
1/4 red onion, chopped thin
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4" bits
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 jar clam juice (8 oz)
2 c. chicken or vegetable broth (I used Swanson's Organic Chicken Broth)
1 c. milk
1/2 c. half and half
2 bay leaves
2 cans Bar Harbor clams, 10 oz. each (with the juice)
1/4 c. sherry
1-1/2 c. red potatoes, diced
1-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
In a soup pot, melt the butter, then sautee the shallots, onions, and celery for about 10 minutes. Toss in the flour, then quickly add the clam juice and stir to avoid clumps. Add the milk, bay leaves, clams (with their juice), potatoes, and thyme. Let
simmer on low for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. Add salt and pepper.
This turned out to be almost perfect. I used the shallots and different varieties of onions because that's all I had on hand. Next time, I'll likely drop the red onion, but keep the yellow onion and the shallots.
I also used gluten-free flour because (yet again) that's what I had. It did okay, but leaves a grainy texture that I'd like to avoid. I'll have to work on it.
The red potatoes were an ideal addition, as was the sherry. I wouldn't change either, or anything else for that matter, other than as mentioned just above.
Now that the soup's been devoured, I want more. So I've posted the recipe here, where I'll know for a fact I can find it ;)
If you've got any tips for an even tastier version, toss 'em my way.