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Old 10-28-2005, 08:30 AM   #1
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Post your favorite N.E. Clam Chowdah recipe

My FIL gave me a bunch of clams that he got from a fisherman buddy of his. My immediate though was to make clam chowdah. I love clams, but have never cooked with them before so this will be a first for me.

Does anyone have any tried and true clam chowdah recipes they would like to share? I have some I have copied down, but would love to see what you guys have as well

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Old 10-28-2005, 10:46 AM   #2
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this is very traditional north new england without much thickening other than what the taters do.

begin by sauteing bacon or fat back
saute chopped onion and garlic (celerey is good but optional...many think it is not authentic)

if using fresh chowder clams reserve liquid and grind the suckers
add juice to pot

slice or dice your potatoes in both small and larger chunks (you want the smaller ones to disolve for thickening) add to pot to start cooking

if using canned clams get a variety of sizes (chopped and minced) pour liquid into pot and reserve clams.

you may wish to add some bottle clam broth or juice.
you may wish to add some white wine (not authentic but **** good)

add several cups of whole milk or a mixture of whole and half and half ( to imitate unpasteurized milk)

season with thyme and parsley (red pepper is nice but your choice) and black pepper.
probably won't need any salt.

add clams to cook once pot is hot and just barely simmering and potatoes are almost done. DO NOT BOIL

adjust any seasonings and serve with Crown Pilot Crackers
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Old 10-28-2005, 11:07 AM   #3
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GB, this is AllenMI's recipe. It has become a classic in my house very quickly. It calls for canned clams, though, so I'm not sure how you'd make the substitution.

Big Al’s Wicked Good Clam Chowder

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.

Yields: 1 ½ gal
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:29 PM   #4
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GB, I am seriously having clam envy ! I guess the recipe would be determined by how many pounds of clams you have. Just make sure to catch all of the juice when you shuck them, and I would chop some and leave some whole. Reserve the whole ones and add at the end, just before serving. My family is originally from back East and this is what we do:
For each 20 ounces of chopped clams w/ juice use:

5 lbs. potatoes (starchy type, not waxy type) diced, I like to vary the dice so some dissolves and some stays in chunks
6 pieces crisp fried bacon, crumbled (salt pork is traditional, but we like the smoky flavor of the bacon), reserve fat
2 celery stalks (not more because can get overpowering) including leaves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
8 ounces water (DO NOT USE TOO MUCH WATER!)
1 quart whole raw milk (I know, almost impossible to get but you cannot get the same flavor/texture using pasturized milk!)
Fresh Dill to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Sweat the onion and celery in the reserved bacon fat. Add potatoes and water and simmer until potatoes are just slightly undercooked. Do not drain.

Add milk and bacon and chopped clams with reserved juice (if you're a blue blood, this is the liquor!) and simmer till thick (DO NOT BOIL!) If chowder does not thicken, you may use a slurry of cornstarch/water to get the consistency you like.

Add whole clams and dill just prior to serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

What time is dinner?

Warm regards,


P.S. This is one of the FEW recipes in which I do not add garlic. It just does not belong in clam chowder (this coming from one accused of putting garlic in everything ) Also, no heavy spice like traditional Old Bay for me, I want the pure flavor of clam, baby!
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Old 10-31-2005, 10:53 AM   #5
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PAB, you're going to make me blush big time! I'm glad you like that recipe!

GB, while I know this is a little to late, you can make my clam chowdah recipe and substitute the fresh clams. What you want to do is steam the clams open before prepping anything else. I'd use some water, vermouth, maybe a little garlic and/or minced shallots. Once the clams have opened, discard any that didn't open, then shuck the meat out of the shells OVER THE STEAMING POT to catch all the juices (you may want to place the pot in the sink so it's a little easier on your arms). As you shuck the clams, toss the meat into a bowl on one side, and the shells into the trash can on another side, depended on which hand you use most (for me, clams would go on the right, shells on the left, but I'm kind of ambidextrous). Strain the resulting clam juice through a couple layers of cheesecloth, and roughly chop the meat to use in the chowdah. Proceed as directed for the recipe.
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:05 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for all your recipes and suggestions. They all look great!

Allen, you are not late. I have not had a chance to make this yet. I did, however, finally take a look at what he gave me (my BIL put them in the freezer for me so I never even saw what he gave me). Turns out they are already shucked and thankfully it looks like they were frozen with the juice That will make my job a little easier.
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:11 AM   #7
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Clam chowder

3 cans (10 oz) chopped clams
1/2 pound bacon
3 cups peeled and cubed small potatoes
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup whole milk
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2 (not the fat free kind!!)
2 tablespoons flour

Drain clams. Save the juice and set aside.

In large pan cook the bacon till crisp. Remove 1/2 of the bacon grease.

In the same pan combine bacon drippings, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, clam juice (NOT THE CLAMS), potatoes, onions and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Wth the back of a fork mash potatoes slightly against the side of the pan. Combine milk, cream and flour till smooth. Add to potato mixture. Cook and stir till slightly thickened. Add the clams and bring back to a boil reduce heat to low and cook for 1 more minute.

I add a teaspoon or two of butter to each bowl of soup right before serving.

This is the one that I make. Everyone loves it.
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:56 AM   #8
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This is the Legal Seafood recipe
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Old 10-31-2005, 12:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jennyema
Ahhhh my favorite Thanks Jenny!!!
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:12 PM   #10
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Not Chowder But...

This is oh, so easy & OH, so good! :-)

Steamed Clams With Bacon, Tomato, & Spinach

1/2 Pound sliced bacon, chopped
1 Medium onion, chopped
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
3 1/2 Pounds small hard shelled clams, scrubbed
6 ounces baby spinach

Instructions: Cook bacon in a 5-6 qt heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic, & red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes & their liquid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the begin to break down & sauce thickens slightly, about 8 minutes.

Increase heat to moderately high, then add clams & bring to a boil, covered. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until clams just open wide, about 6 minutes. (Discard clams that do not open after 10 minutes.) Stir in spinach & cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Season with salt & pepper.

Serve with crusty bread & pasta.
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:54 AM   #11
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Clam and Roasted Corn Chowder with Wild Rice


½ cup carrots
½ cup celery
¾ cup onion
¾ cup cooked wild rice
1 ear of corn
2 cups canned clam juice
2 cups milk
1cup heavy cream
½ lb bacon
2 cups chopped littleneck clams (fresh or can)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup flour

Dice peeled carrots, onions, and celery into ¼ inch cubes. Dice bacon. In soup pot, sauté bacon until crisp, sauté carrots, onion, and celery for 8 minutes, together with bacon. Roast the corn on the grill or on an open flame. Let it cool, take the corn off the cob and add it to the soup pot. Add crushed red pepper, white ground pepper and fresh thyme. Add clam juice, milk, and heavy cream and bring to a light boil. Whisk in the roux and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cheese. Garnish with fresh bread or crackers.
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Old 11-12-2005, 07:29 AM   #12
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They all look almost identical, but here's the one that I make, since it's one of my top 2 favorite clam chowders ever (the other one is Capt Parker's on Cape Cod).


Union Oyster House Clam Chowder
Makes 2 quarts

2oz salt pork
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 ribs celery, minced
2 lbs fresh (or frozen) clams, diced
1 qt clam juice
1 lb potatoes, diced
2 cups Half & Half, warmed

salt, pepper, Tabasco, Worcestershire - to taste

Bring potatoes and clam juice to a boil; cook until potatoes are done, 10-15 minutes. Add clams (along with any surplus juice from same); cook 5 minutes. Set aside.
Note: do not overcook or clams will be tough.
Skin pork, dice and saute in pan; cook until rendered. Add onions; cook until glassy. Add butter, melt and cook slightly. Add flour. If mixture is too loose, add a little more flour. Cook until slightly tan colored.
Bring clams, juice and potatoes back to a boil. Add cooked roux. Thicken and bring to a rolling boil and stir. Add previously heated half & half to desired consistency. Season to taste.
Serve with oyster or pilot crackers.
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Old 11-12-2005, 12:22 PM   #13
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That's a good looking chowder recipe, Erik. I've saved that recipe to try soon.
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