Joe’s Own Clam Chowder

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Continuing the tradition of using this space to be the online backup of my recipes, I reveal the secrets of my home-made New England clam chowder. Works well with pantry goods.

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips of bacon (as plain as bacon as you can find. Avoid maple.)
  • 12 oz. of chopped clams from a can. Fresh is good, but I’m not a clam snob.
  • 12 oz of evaporated milk
  • 4 oz of regular milk
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 potatoes cubed (1/2”). I prefer red spuds, but use what you have.
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • A pinch or two of salt. The spuds need the salt more than the clams.
  • Black pepper.

Process:

  • Render bacon over med heat until meat is reduced to salad bar bacon bit beauty. Remove bits, save the fat.
  • Over low heat, sweat onion and garlic until translucent (about 7 minutes)
  • Add clam juice from can, milk and half the spuds
  • With a stick blender, puree to thicken the broth. Don’t go nuts. 1 minute of blending is fine.
  • Add the rest of the spuds, clams, bay leaf, bacon fat and butter.
  • Simmer for an hour over low heat. If you have a double boiler, use that. If not, stir ever few minutes. A skin is likely to develop on you chowder. Don’t panic. Just stir it back into the broth.
  • Pepper to taste

You might also add a little paprika. Also, shallots and green onions would go will in this dish. Normally I eat this with bread not crackers, but do what you have to to get it down your gullet. This chowder stows nicely in the fridge for a week and I swear the older it gets, the better.

Enjoy. And as the crusty New Englanders say around my neck of the woods: get the hell of my cah, you stupid bastahds!

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