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Recipe File: Clam Chowder, New England Style
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toe
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:18 pm    Post subject: roux first Reply with quote

A slight drawback with the roux first process is the thickening ability of the flour. Flour thickens the liquid when it reaches a boil. If you are adding the cream/milk mixture to the roux, you probably don't want to boil in case anything splits. You'd have to add the clam juice,boil to get the thickening, then add the cream/milk. Other possibilites include using arrowroot as a thickener, which will thicken at a lower temperature.
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EricFoster
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:35 pm    Post subject: Why Fridays? Reply with quote

Does anyone know why clam chowder is always served on Fridays? I imagine its probably a lent thing, but the practice is rather widespread so I was hoping someone out there might have another explanation.

Sometimes I wish could get a bowl of clam chowder on Tuesday.
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Michael
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 1:09 pm    Post subject: sour cream Reply with quote

thoughts on adding sour cream to clam chowder to replace some of the regular cream - i really enjoy the tangy flavor that it adds to the soup!
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KC
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:43 pm    Post subject: Fresh Clams? Reply with quote

This is definately a "must try"!!! I just need to figure out the quantity of fresh clams to use for this chowder. I'll add a comment when I get around to that this weekend.
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mookle
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:42 am    Post subject: two things Reply with quote

I have always thought of the differences between Manhattan style and New England style to revolve around the kind of soup base. Manhattan style is usually seen with a tomato base and no cream, thus creating a kind of vegetable soup with clams. The Rhode Island clam chowder recipe I have from James Beard/Fannie Farmer involves both a fifty-fifty mix of cream and milk and also tomatoes.

I think the reason chowder is usually served on Fridays comes from an old Roman Catholic tradition of having only fish on Fridays. Many RCs were poor (long ago) and to help out the starving masses, there was a papal decree that only fish and seafood should be served on Fridays because of its low price and freshness. This ended long ago, but the tradition still remains, as seen in some older practitioners and on our menus.
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paul
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: thickness Reply with quote

This is the first time I've tried one of your recipes (I just started getting into cooking for myself in university, so sorry if the Q is dumb), and it turned out fairly well. One thing was that mine didn't seem to be very thick (compared to your pic.) even though I added extra flour. How do you control the thickness? Also, there was some sand from the canned clams... Was I supposed to strain or something?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1635
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:12 pm    Post subject: Re: thickness Reply with quote

paul wrote:
This is the first time I've tried one of your recipes (I just started getting into cooking for myself in university, so sorry if the Q is dumb), and it turned out fairly well. One thing was that mine didn't seem to be very thick (compared to your pic.) even though I added extra flour. How do you control the thickness? Also, there was some sand from the canned clams... Was I supposed to strain or something?

A lot of factors come into play to control thickness. Increasing the flour will help, but to ensure that their is no raw flour taste, I would probably recommend cooking the flour in butter first to form a roux. Witht he small amounts of flour we used in this recipe, the cooking stage with the potatoes was enough to cook the flour, but with more flour, it's probably better safe than sorry. Don't overcook the roux because as it gains flavor it will lose thickening power.

Next, make sure you use starchy potatoes like russets. Add them to the pot after ocoking without additional rinsing that that will ensure that all the potato starch gets into the chowder.

After simmering the potatoes in clam juice, you can check to see how much liquid is left in the pot. If it's quite a bit, just continue to simmer until most of the liquid is gone. This will produce a thicker chowder as well.

Using only heavy cream will also make a thicker soup.

How these tips will help you achieve the thickness that you're looking for.
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paul
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice! I tried doing the roux first and it turned out perfectly.

keep up the great site....
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Paul Y
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:14 pm    Post subject: Clam Chowder On Fridays Reply with quote

Clam Chowder and Fish are generally served on Fridays due to the teachings of the church regarding the bible.

Restaurants serve these items so that they can draw in this crowd who would normally not eat meat, cloven-hoofed animals to be more precise.

I couldn't say one way or the other how strict this 'rule' is followed these days.
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LittleJohn
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 10:15 pm    Post subject: ROUX?!?!?!?!? Reply with quote

All this debate about how to prepare the roux is silly - New England clam chowder should NOT be thickened with roux. Roux thickening is an ill-advised "innovation" introduced in the 1950s and popularized by HoJo's. Truly traditional chowder (at least since potatoes replaced pounded seabiscuit ~150 years ago) is thickened by simmering the potatoes until they contribute some starchiness. It is also thinner (I would say less glue-like) than what you get at most restaurants these days.

I actually prefer canned chopped (not minced) sea clams to whole canned clams, but I'll take quahogs in the shell over any of the above. If you heat the milk gently (just until warm) before you add it to the chowder, it won't separate.

In other news, Yukon Golds make great chowder potatoes.
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justkeepitsimple
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:51 pm    Post subject: clam chowder Reply with quote

Who cares what part of New York is considered New England or not, just give me some clam chowder.
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JimboGeog
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:20 pm    Post subject: New England Reply with quote

New England includes the regions of the Atlantic Northeast and part of Megalopolis and French Canada. The rural areas of NY state are partly in New England. NY state is also included in the Appalachian region and arguably others as well.
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Denise
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:35 pm    Post subject: Addicted to Clam Chowder Reply with quote

Oddly enough, I first tried the "New England Clam Chowder" in a San Francisco restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf.
Got hopelessly addicted to it - and "hopeless" is not a figure of speech here. I live in Brazil, but usally come on business to Sunnyvale, California, only once or twice a year.
Thank you sooooooooo much for the fantastic recipe you've shared (the best I found in the Web), so I don't have to spent 50 weeks of the year whining and yearning for this delicious chowder. Gonna make it at home and will probably live on it from now on. Big smile
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where's the saltpork? or at least, bacon?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1635
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Where's the saltpork? or at least, bacon?

I start with bacon grease for flavor and end with a sprinkle of bacon pieces when I serve.
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