New England Clam Chowder Recipe
I've been wanting to make a pot of New England Clam Chowder since the weather turned cool a few weeks ago. Actually, I've been on a serious soup and chowder binge lately. This phenomenon happens every year during the fall. The weather changes and I hunker down in the boat, cooking and baking like a crazy woman! So far, in the past 2 weeks, we've had Chunky Corn Chowder, Clam Chowder, Vegetarian Chili (you can make it with meat too) and Split Pea Soup (photos coming soon). And, I took photos of all my soups to share with you! Oooo, I haven't made my French Onion Soup in a while! Maybe I'll make that this weekend.
I used Fresh Clams and Canned Juice from the Seafood Store
New England Clam "Chowdah"
That's how they say it in some areas of the country! Here in Rhode Island, we say it both ways - Chowdah and Chowder - as in "Chowdah & Clam Cakes"! Speaking of which...If anyone has ever been to Iggy's Doughboys and Chowder House and had their famous clam chowder, let me know? They're right around the corner from me and their doughboys are wicked good! We could meet and do lunch!
Fried and Crumbled Bacon for the Chowder
This New England Clam Chowder Recipe is a large one and serves about 15! Start with a big 8 quart stock pot, or divide the recipe in half. I used bacon this time, but I've also used salt pork in the past too. If you don't eat pork products, you could substitute vegetarian Fakin' Bacon with good results.
This is what's known as Clam Base or Clam Bouillon
Fresh Clams or Canned Clams?
My clam chowder is the white New England version made with cream or half & half. I like red potatoes in my chowder, not the boring old white potatoes. You can use fresh clams and shuck them yourself, or chopped clams from a can and clam juice. Because I live in Rhode Island, I can buy fresh clams from the fish store down the street. They're already shucked and chopped and they're not very expensive. If you have a choice, definitely use fresh clams. You'll notice the difference in taste and texture.
Fresh Minced Parsley
Can You Smell the New England Clam Chowder Yet?
So, put on a pot of New England Clam Chowder this week, grab some oyster crackers or a big loaf of fresh French bread, and enjoy a bowl on me!