Dave and I have been experimenting in the kitchen a lot lately. 99% of our experiments turn out fantastic (to us) and most of the people we are cooking for if it’s not just us. We enjoy the time spent side by side mixing up something special to eat. It’s not always perfection, and sometimes he likes to add red pepper flakes to meatballs or something else we’re making and he can annoy me because I’m so used to doing something one particular way, but at the end of it all, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
This past weekend we were at it again, and decided to whip up some New England Clam Chowder. Neither of us had ever made it before, but we’ve eaten it plenty of times. I went to the fish market and picked up a dozen chowder clams, when we were getting ready to shuck them, we didn’t have a shucker. So hammer and butter knife and two sets of hands were going to have to work. It did, but after 17 clams ( the fish monger gave me more than the dozen I paid for thankfully) there wasn’t all that much in way of clams. So we went to the food store and picked up a can of Cento brand clams. Good idea because it helped make this chowder nice, thick, and hearty. Every bite had a decent amount of clams, you certainly weren’t missing them.
**I made this recipe gluten free because of my gluten sensitivity, but you can substitute regular all purpose flour.
Damn Good New England Clam Chowder
- 5 slices bacon cooked
- 6 oz diced cooked spiral ham (optional but added a lovely flavor)
- 1 c finely chopped sweet onion
- 4 tbs butter
- 3 tbs flour
- 1 tbs parsley
- 1 tbs black pepper
- 1 quart half & half
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 c cooked diced potatoes
- 1 10 oz can whole baby clams plus juice
- 1 dozen chowder clams shucked and cleaned
- 1 cup of bottled clam juice
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
*When we made this recipe we had intentions of using fresh clams like I mentioned above. If you would like to do the same, follow recipe instructions as listed above. If you don’t want to shuck your clams use 2~ 10 oz cans of whole baby clams and you will yield the same results.*
Peel, wash, dice, and cook your potatoes till almost fork tender but not fully cooked. Cook bacon until crispy, chop and set aside. Chop ham into bite sized pieces if using and set aside.
In a stock pot or dutch oven, over low heat melt butter, then saute onions until golden brown. Once onions have the right color, add bacon, ham, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Saute about 3 min, then sprinkle in flour and cook for 7 minutes; stirring constantly.
Raise heat to low~medium, add half & half, chicken broth, and cooked potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes; stirring frequently.
Add the canned clams with their juice, fresh clams (if you are using), bottled clam juice, and lemon juice. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with gluten free crackers or bread and enjoy. Makes 6 servings.