We had a "back-door cold front" move through a few days ago, and Monday never made it into the 80's, which is weird for OK in August. PeppA, my other half, started begging me to make clam chowder. I broke down, went and bought the ingredients, and made a batch. Boy, it was good!
Here's my recipe. I've posted it a few times before, but I figured this is a more recent thread, so here goes:
Big Al's Wicked Good Clam Chowder
Yields: 1 ½ gal
A couple other tips: Cut the bacon last. This lessens the chance of any cross-contamination from the bacon to other things. Also, I find it easier to chop bacon like this when it's frozen. I’ve also found that a product labeled “Ends and Pieces”, produced by Wright’s, is about the best buy on bacon for this purpose. Cheap and high quality can’t be beat. And lastly, don't add any salt until the very end, and taste it first! Then, if it needs salt, add a little. Remember that you are using salt-cured bacon, and salt water shellfish, so there will be plenty of salt in the chowder without needing any more.
8 slices thick sliced bacon, diced fine
1 ½ large onion, diced
1 ½ c celery, diced
1 ½ t Old Bay Seasoning, optional
½ t ground black pepper
1 ½ t tarragon
1 ½ t thyme
1 ½ t garlic, minced
2 # sized potatoes, peeled, and cubed into half inch cubes
33 oz (total) canned chopped sea clams with the juice (around here, that's about 6 cans)
2 8 oz bottles of Clam Juice
1 pt heavy cream
1 pt half and half
½ c corn starch mixed with ½ c water
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Fry the bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high until the bacon starts to crisp, and you see lots of color and brown bits in the pan. At this time, add the onions, celery, garlic, pepper, thyme, tarragon, and Old Bay seasoning, if desired. When the onions are translucent and slightly caramelized, add the clams, juice, and potatoes; adding a little water if needed to cover the potatoes. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the cream, half-and-half, and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch/water slurry and bring back to a boil to tighten the chowder. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
NOTES: This is one I don’t really recommend that you freeze for later use. The potatoes will turn mealy in texture after you thaw and reheat the soup.
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!