Written by: Tami

I think it is ironic that just a few weeks ago I made clam chowder for the very first time (as seen on our previous blog post, Super Bowl Party), and tomorrow is officially National Clam Chowder Day. Don’t you just love a made up holiday? I couldn’t resist posting the recipe for this delicious soup that I made in this holiday’s honor and know that you all will be excited to try it out too … if you love clams as much as I do! There are probably a million and one recipes out there for both red and white options, but I was seeking out one specifically that was fresh tasting and used whole clams. I love the way the finished product tasted and how it looked too. So classy! 

1. In a large pot, bring to a boil 5 cups water. Add 3 medium red potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Cook for 4 – 5 minutes and remove all potatoes with a slotted spoon (Do not drain off water). 

2. In a second, larger pot (while the potatoes are cooking), heat on low 2 tablespoons olive oil and 4 sprigs fresh thyme for a minute before adding 1 red onion thinly sliced, 1 stalk sliced celery, and 3 cloves minced garlic. Stir often for about 4 – 5 minutes. 

3. Add 2 large carrots cut up and 2 tablespoons chili paste. Cook until carrots soften slightly (about 2 – 3 minutes). Add the potatoes and 3 cups potato water. Stir the whole mixture together. 

* If you plan to eat your soup right away, keep it warm over low while you cook your clams. You can also refrigerate for up to one day and warm up before eating. 

4. Rinse 4 pounds small manila clams (still in the shell) in a colander under cold water. Throw away any clams with broken or open shells. 

5. When ready to serve, cook the clams in batches in a large sauce pan. Place enough clams in the bottom of the pan to fill but not crowd. Add 1 cup of your pre-made soup base, cover, and heat on medium. Simmer for about 4 minutes or until the majority of the clams open. Pick out any clams that have not opened. Transfer all cooked clams to the soup pot, and continue cooking uncooked clams in batches until all are open and added to the soup base. 

6. Add 1  1/2 cups whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream to the pot and continue to simmer. Top with freshly ground black pepper and chopped Italian flat leaf parsley 

We hope you have enjoyed this edition of our Food Fridays post. Sharing these recipes helps us to constantly be looking for new things to make at home with all new ingredients … like clams! Do you have a brand new recipe to share? Something you just tried out for the first time? We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below, and by all means go get yourself a piping hot bowl of clam chowder! Happy National Clam Chowder Day to all of our readers!

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