Sunday, September 30, 2012

Red Chowder

OK, I understand that this should be called Manhattan Clam Chowder but I can't bring myself to call it that and like it at the same time.  Because R.I. Clam chowder is often referred to as "Grey Chowder" I feel it appropriate to use the name Red Chowder.  My traditions have me loving the New England variety and my mom is famous for her corn chowder, however, Steve would prefer the non-dairy variety so this is it.  This was a staple on the Johnson & Wales cafeteria menus and am sure I have a copy of the recipe (makes 400 servings) in my freshman text books.

3# Little neck clams
2 bottles (8 oz) Bar Harbor clam juice
4 slices bacon 1/4" slice
1 Large onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
2 carrots peeled and diced
1/2 green pepper diced
3 cloves garlic diced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp pepper flakes
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2# Yukon gold potatoes diced
1 28oz can San Marzanno tomatoes
1 Tbsp parsley chopped
salt & pepper

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add clams, cover and cook about 5 minutes until clams just open (more time for larger clams).  Remove clams and strain and reserve cooking liquid (liquor).  Add water to liquor to make 4 cups, set aside.  Remove clams from shell (discard any clams that did not open).  Chop clams to 1/4".  Set aside.

In a large soup pot render bacon until crisp.  Add onion, carrot, celery, and pepper.  Saute on low for about 10 minutes until vegetables are soft (do not brown).  Add garlic, thyme, oregano, and pepper flakes - saute 2 more minutes.

Add potatoes, reserved liquor, and chicken stock to soup pot.  Cover, bring to boil and cook for 20 minutes.  Break up canned tomatoes with your hands and add to soup pot.  Continue cooking for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and add reserved clams and parsley.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Let sit for 1 hour for flavors to develop.  Reheat gently (do not boil as you will toughen clams).  Serve with oyster crackers or I prefer Vt Common crackers ( )

This Chowder also freezes very well.