Friday, September 16, 2011

Clam Chowder

I can't remember a time that I did not like fish.  I have always loved it.  I grew up in a very small town, for most of my childhood, by a huge lake.  We fished in it all the time.  I remember my grandpa taking me out, helping me bait my hook and then showing me how to clean the stinky fish.

Fish is wonderful in my opinion.  Oysters, clams and squid are little pieces of happiness to me too.  I love fried oysters!  I made them, at home, a few years ago and my son and I devoured them.  I ate my first raw oysters last summer.  I started with one, and then another and another.  My husbands was surprised I ate 6 with no problem.  YUMMY!

Fish is so abundant where I now live.  LOVE, LOVE this.  We were in UT before and fish was available but not like here...right off the boat!  When I decided to make clam chowder this time, I picked up the can of clams and then my hubby suggested we try fresh clams.  I have never done that before.  I wasn't sure what to expect..sand, taste, texture...would it ruin the soup?

I am hear to say that it did not ruin the soup and it was so much better.  I found that the canned clams were sweet and added an artificial flavor to the soup.  The fresh clams gave you that pure clam taste.  I can't explain the taste other than, for me, it was wonderful.  I bought 40 clams at 45cents a was spendy but well worth the money. 

I always make my clam chowder in the morning and serve it at night.  On this particular day we ended up eating it for breakfast and dinner.  The smell and aroma in my house was more than we could all bear. I have never eaten oyster crackers with my soup but this time I tried my GF crackers and it was amazing.  I think, again, the fresh oysters add a bit of a different flavor to the soup and the saltiness of the cracker really brought out the flavors...DELICIOUS!  

Clam Chowder

This will make enough for 6-8 adults.  It is wonderful the next day warmed up.

2 cups of Chicken Broth ( You can use water if you want, I just like the flavor of the broth in the soup.)
2 cups of water
clam juice (The juice should come from the can or in the container with the fresh clams)
1 cup of fresh clams or 2 small cans of clams  (Fresh is about 40-50 clams, shucked)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup of celery, diced
4 potatoes, cubed
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of flour (gluten free- use brown rice flour)
2 cups of milk
2 cups of cream
pepper and salt to taste
2 dashes of hot sauce (optional)
2 T. Fresh Parsley, mince  (optional)

Chop you clams if they are fresh.  I usually don't have to chop the clams from the can.  If using fresh, let your clams sit overnight so the sand has a chance to sink to the bottom of the container.  I was surprised at how much was there the next day compared to the first.  Gently remove the clams from the container.  Save the juice to add to the water/broth.  If you want a stronger clam flavor you can always add purchased clam juice to the broth.

In a large stock pot, add the broth, clam juice and water or 6 cups of water and clam juice.  Turn heat to medium high.

In the pot, add your diced celery and onion.  Add your cubed potatoes.  Bring pot to a boil and cook until potatoes are done.  Depending on the size of your potatoes, plan on 15-20 minutes.

In a separate pot, add the stick of butter and melt.  Stir in your flour.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Add the milk and cream.  This should get thick after a few minutes of cooking on medium high.  Turn heat off and set aside until the potatoes are done. If it is not thick after 5 minutes, you may need to add more flour.

Meanwhile, you can mince the parsley if you are using it in the soup.  

When your potatoes are done, add the flour/milk/cream mixture to the soup.  Add your chopped clams.  The clams do not take long to cook, 5-10 minutes.  They should be firm to the touch.

You will need to add pepper and salt to you soup.  I find that I use a lot of salt but everyone is different.  So you will need to salt, taste, salt, find what is best for your family.  We also love a few dashes of hot sauce..this is optional of course.  The fresh parsley adds more flavor to the soup.  We love this addition.  

Written by Sherron Watson

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  1. Beautiful as usual. Reminds me of Summer in the Hamptons on a very cool night~all happy memories~ lovely blog, btw~

  2. A beautiful soup. Sometimes things are just worth the expense..

  3. Thank you both! I always love to find comments on the blog. Sherron


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