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Recipe File: Clam Chowder, New England Style
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Olthunder
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 2:45 am    Post subject: Texas Style Chowder Reply with quote

Ok kids, I've worked in New England on a couple of occasions and loved the chowder on cold days. Being from Texas you won't find Chowder here unless it's out of a can. Here's a different twist on the classic. First I cook 1 pound of bacon till it's almost crisp. I drop in 1 Texas 1015 onion(super sweet about the size of a softball) into the bacon (never said it was heart healthy) and clarify the the onions. All you purist look away now as I drop in 6 cloves of chopped garlic. Drop in 6 small cans of minced clams with juice and continue(no fresh clams in Texas). I generally use 3 or 4 Russet potatos in about 1/2" cube cut (depends on how many kids are around). You may need to add just enough water to cover the potatos and keep going. Now the really gonna catch hell part. Take 1 whole package of Philly Cream Cheese and drop it in pieces and stir. It will start melting down and the chowder will start coming together. Not done yet. Let the potatos soften (test with a fork) once soft add 1 pint of Half and Half. Add fresh parsley to suit and bring to a boil. If too watery adjust with corn starch slurry (1 tablespoon of corn starch to 1/2 tablespoon of water. Bring to boil and it will thicken. Add some fresh crusty bread and stand back. For a little different look try a couple of seeded and veined jalapenos diced really fine for a liitle heat. Enjoy
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Biologyguy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:07 am    Post subject: I am heading to Texas! Reply with quote

The base recipe is about as simple and flexible as they come.

Cream Cheese works great. It adds really great thickening that holds up to freezing better.

I like to begin with clarified butter to saute the onions and potatoes. Salt pork is mild enough, but bacon can impart too much smoke flavor.

Have to agree on adding thyme, along with a small amount of white pepper you will have a much more flavorful chowda.

Finally, I use both russets and yukon golds. The russets will help thicken and the yukon golds impart buttery creaminess.
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Roni
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:47 pm    Post subject: nice recipe, few mods Reply with quote

Nice recipe! Tried it yesterday, turned out fine. Next time, I'll have 1 modification
I think I will saute the clams a bit before putting in soup--it was too raw for my taste in the final soup.
I used fresh cilantro leaves for garnishing, and it went wonderfully well with the soup.
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Theresia
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject: New England Clam Chower comment Reply with quote

This is almost exactly the way my Mom made her Chowder-the ONLY thing she did differently is that she liked to add a very finely diced rib of celery along with the onion during saute time. She also left the small bits of bacon she rendered the fat out of right in the chowder. I hope Mom's addition of the celery is not considered sacrilige. She was a lovely Catholic lady-who substituted butter (for the bacon and bacon fat) only on Fridays. I always loved Mom's Chowder...
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Dustin C
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Chowda Reply with quote

I succesfully made the chowder, as poor cook, i found the directions nice and easy to follow. My chowder turned out much thinner than I was used to, and used some flour based thickener to increase the viscosity. It turned out a little short on flavor, can anyone reccomend any spices or other ingredients that could be added to increase the flavor. I realzie chowder is not a extremely potent flavor, but it had considerable less flavor than I was used to tasting in restaurants etc.

I am sure as I keep making it and get better at cooking, it will be better, but any other ingredients for a possible increase in flavor?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1018
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dustin -

a lot of the thickening potential comes from the potatoes - which are a variable - some break down more than others. a high starch variety (like russets) is preferred - but even russets vary. but it's not unheard of to tweak the consistency.

also to think on - potatoes benefit from salt - brings out their flavor. you might try a touch more next batch.

past that it's pretty much all about the clams - if you can get live clams that's the best taste approach - I find the canned clam does lose a lot of its flavor.

reducing the clam juice prior to adding is another 'clam it up' trick.

I like to use a sharp yellow onion - a little bit of mild onion can get lost. I probably use double the onion of this recipe.

I also use chopped parsley or fresh chives stirred in and cooking end.

personally I don't keep bacon fat around, so I fry up 4-5 slices to get the fat - done to crispy crisp state, the crumbled bacon goes on top just prior to service.

if you want more fancy, finely diced hard boiled eggs is another nice 'floater' for presentation.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1631
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilbert wrote:
reducing the clam juice prior to adding is another 'clam it up' trick.

Since Dustin implied he was new to cooking, I thought I'd clarify what Dilbert means by "reducing". He doesn't mean reducing the amount of clam juice used - in kitchen-speak "reducing" means to concentrate by way of boiling/simmering. The volume is reduced, but the flavors are concentrated.
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moldawg
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:36 pm    Post subject: thanks! Reply with quote

thank you for this recipe, i had always wanted to try making clam chowder, but was intimidated. It's very tasty - i like having everybody's ideas and opinions here because it gave me a couple ideas for next time. Thanks again!
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starfreedom
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:35 am    Post subject: cracking up Reply with quote

This recipe looks right on, we will be trying it soon. I am cracking up that people have been discussing this recipe for over 4 years and counting so I had to add my two cents. Big smile
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jjoachim
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: i love this!!! Reply with quote

I grew up with chowder that had celery in it and wasn't a rich/creamy....this is such a good recipe. I have made it twice now and it is so simple. I love how the recipe is laid out and all the pictures. Thanks for this great addition!
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Sausageman



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Ipswich, Queensland, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:29 am    Post subject: New England Clam Chowder Reply with quote

The last time I had real New England clam chowder was in 1987 in Hartford CT when I was doing a course on the Lycoming ALF 502 engine.
I visited a restaurant called the "Nautical Wheel". It was fabulous, I even left a 30 dollar tip,(more than the meal cost then) the waitresses were just unbelievable, they each took turns in sitting with my group and told us of the history of the place. I have never experienced anything like that anywhere else in the World with waiting staff. I sincerely hope they are still in operation.

I have made my own version of it many times since, and it is one of my favourite dishes from anywhere in this World.

Mike.
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Cornelius



Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 16
Location: Everett, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, somewhat ironically, there is a restaurant in the Seattle area that won a major New England style clam chowder cook-off, in New England, three years in a row. The only reason it wasn't four years in a row was because they didn't bother to show up after their third win.

As far as I am concerned, New England style is clam chowder, and that Manhattan stuff is just a weird, red soup that happens to contain clams. Smile
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Woody
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Clam juice unavailable Reply with quote

Hi, I live in Paris France. Clam juice is unavailable here. What can I replace it with? I have not had clam chowder for a long time. I went to college in NY a while ago and I had clam chowder all the time, I also had some really nice clam chowder at Bull and Finch in Boston. I would really like to prepare some. Canned seafood is not available here. How can I prepare a base from fresh clams or any other type of fish/seafood? I miss this tasty rich and thick taste. Thanx
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1018
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woody -

clam juice is essentially the pot liquid from steaming clams - so indeed you can start with fresh clams!

I usually steam them with some onion / celery / salt - just strain out the solids and you've got 'instant' clam juice. you can also reduce it very gently to help concentrate the flavor.

working with canned clams usually does not produce enough liquid - hence the bottled clam juice booster.
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Woody
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:57 pm    Post subject: Thanx Reply with quote

Thanx Dilbert. I will do just that. I am sure that the result will be scrumptious.

Cheers
W
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