Monday, September 11, 2006

New England Clam Chowder

This is a recipe for the best clam chowder I have had to date. It is from the Captain's Pub on Cape Cod, who, by the way, won the Boston Chowder Fest in 2000, 2001 and 2006. They were retired to the Chowder Fest Hall of Fame and decided to publish their recipe. I made a few very slight changes. I substituted Bacon instead of salt pork and used a little less flour to the roux than they did. This is a meal!!

3 slices of bacon (Hickory smoked is my favorite)
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 pound sweet butter, plus 1/4 pound
4 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 pinch dry thyme
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 bay leaf
1 quart water
3 chef potatoes, peeled and diced
6 ounces clam base (recommended: Minors)
1 quart fresh chopped clams and their juice
1 quart light cream
1 teaspoon salt (taste before adding salt)
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Saute bacon but do not brown. Meanwhile, make roux by adding 2 cups of flour to 3/4 pound of the butter and stir. Make the roux pourable but not too loose or too thick.(You may not need all of the roux as it may make the chowder a bit too thick). Begin to cook on low flame or in an oven until the roux is nice and hot. In a heavy bottomed pot, put the remaining 1/4 pound butter and the bacon. Do not drain grease. Add the onion, celery and herbs, let saute for about 5 minutes. Add water and potatoes and bring it to a boil. Then add the clam base, keep stirring so the base and potatoes don't stick or burn to the bottom of the pan. Add the clams and their juice. When the potatoes become slightly tender bring everything back to a boil and start adding the hot roux. Turn the flame down a little and let simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Slowly add the light cream to the base until you get the right creamy chowder, not too thick or thin. Season with salt and pepper


BloomingtonChef said...

HOORAY!!! A post from the Kinderhook Chef.
I shall indeed be trying this recipe as soon as I get my hands on some good seafood...which might be when I am back East next week.

Anonymous said...

Oh... what is a chef's potato?

KinderhookChef said...

A chef's potato is a smooth potato with tannish to white skin. It has shallow eyes and is normally firm. It is best used in soups, salads and can be pureed.It is a bit moist for baking. New potato's are basically the same but are smaller (no more than 1.5 inches).