Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Clam Chowder

One of the perks of summer beach living on Whidbey - digging as many clams as you want.
Two weeks ago, hubby and I dug enough clams to fill a 5 gallon bucket!
A couple days before that, my mom and I did the same.
It's all because I like to have a supply of chopped clams and bottles of nectar in our freezer, so I can make chowder during the winter months.
After we dug the clams, we let them sit for a couple hours in sea water that I added a couple handfuls of cornmeal to. This process causes the clams to spit out most of their sand.
It's very important that you don't let the clams die. If the water gets to warm, you could loose them. The clams need to be alive when you cook 'em.
Here they are all cooked.
It took me about an hour to chop this batch. I ended up with 8 cups of chopped clams and 2 gallons of nectar.
Today, I made enough chowder to serve 50 people. It's my contribution for the meal exchange I do with a group a mom's from our church.
This recipe has been our family's favorite for many years.
My mom purchased it from the Old Fisherman's Grotto restaurant in Monterey, California back in the early 80's.

1 carrot, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 potato, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 pound bacon, minced
1/4 pound butter
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces clam juice
1 1/2 C flour
2 C milk
2 C Heavy whipping cream
2 C half and half
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 pound clam, chopped (fresh, frozen, or canned)

Cook bacon, set aside. Saute vegetables over medium heat until tender. When vegetables are tender, add flour to make a roux. Cook for a couple minutes, allowing flour to cook. Add clam juice and dairy products. Stir by using a wire whip. Add fresh garlic, black pepper, bacon and chopped clams. Cook over low-medium heat stirring occasionally to prevent chowder from scorching. Cook for a couple hours until chowder is brought to desired thickness. A crockpot is recommended. Clam juice can be added to thin chowder down if it gets too thick. Chowder needs to be stirred often, probably about every 10-15 minutes or so, or it will stick to the bottom of the pot.

**I basically use the recipe only as a list for ingredients. I never use the exact measurements. We like more potatoes, bacon, and clam juice in ours.

Bon appetit!


KatCollects said...

Oh my gosh, this sounds so good! Wishing you a beautiful week.

sue said...

oh man am I drooling! sounds so yummy. I haven't made clam chowder in ages, now I want some so bad.

Ivy and Elephants said...

This clam chowder has my vote hands down! It looks just yummy! And you like it just like I do, extra potatoes and bacon. Do you put grated cheese on top, too? Delicious!!!
New follower, here!

Anonymous said...

Sounds great will try this month