Manhattan is NOT part of New England...many New Yorkers would be upset by that characterization (to say nothing of New Englanders...)!
Manhattan IS part of New England. New York east of the Hudson is considered New Egland. Not state lines. BTW, recipe looks great. Will give it a try.
Sorry, but I've never heard of "east of Hudson = New England, and I grew up in NY state, east of the Hudson. New England is the region of the US east of New York.
Hmmm... it seems that most sources consider Manhattan/New York City as not part of New England. I'm going to make a modification to my article.
No, no no no no! you always begin with the roux, then the cream, then add the additional ingredients! This is a common mistake found in cooking books all over the place. Try doing it this way:[list=1:05058e600e]Do all the prep and set it asideHeat up the roux in the pot you're going to cook the soup inAdd the desired dairy, and/or wateradd the prepared ingredientsadd the spices[/list:o:05058e600e]
Well, the roux first method does work well, but I can't taste the difference in clam chowder (as opposed to, let's say, gumbo where the roux reaches a brick color). Not producing real roux makes this recipe easy to do in one pot. In the roux first method, the potatoes can't easily be cooked in the bechamel without causing the dairy to clump - too much heat for too long. So, you cook the potatoes separate. But then what you end up with is:
1. Precook potatoes in water, drain.
2. Lightly saute onions in grease, remove from pot.
3. Add flour to grease to form roux, cook.
4. Add cream/milk and clam juice and bring to simmer
5. Add precooked potatoes, onions, and clams
6. Heat through, season, serve.
Simple enough, but cooking the potatoes and onions separate is just an unnecessary step and uses multiple pots (unless you are cooking the chowder in your potato boiling pot -- which means an extra rinsing step and you'll be using a much larger pot for the chowder).
However, it should be mentioned that if you are using pure heavy cream, you can probably cook the potatoes in that without worrying about curds forming because of the higher fat content. The only problem I have with that, is that it's a bit too rich for me.
For what it's worth, the Wikipedia article on New England
mentions that the "East of the Hudson" distinction is antiquated and/or rarely used.
My family LOVES New England Clam Chowder! If we are out to dinner on a Friday night, that's the one thing we will all agree on ordering! The "ideal" is a soup that's thick enough, but not too thick...Your recipe sounds easy enough to want to try. I agree, ease of preparation is key, especially when busy enough with work, school, and kid chauffeuring hither and yon. :?
Too busy with the kid's basketball tournament in LA this weekend, but I will definitely give this recipe a try soon!
Thanks, Michael! :)
When you don't want the onions and whatnot to brown aren't you dealing with a sweat and not a saute?
I really enjoy the site, thanks for taking the time to share.
Have you considered putting the approximate number of servings on your recipes? I am having a tough time figureing out how many people could be served with one batch of chowda.
Yes and no. A sweat is always performed over low heat with the intention of cooking the substance in their own juices (that will flow out and collect as they heat). Often, you'll press foil down onto the ingredients to help retain the moisture as they heat. Sometimes, the term sweat is used loosely for whenever you wish to heat aromatics without browning, but in reality - it's often just a quick saute that's performed. Generally, I consider that if juices collect, then it's sweating - if it's still relatively dry, you're sauteing.
In this recipe, we're cooking the onions just a bit to soften them up for their soak in the clam juice where they will liquify. We're not actually trying to sweat them out in this recipe.
Sorry, I forgot! I've added the servings for this dish: serves 6.
It seems to me that cooking the roux with the potatoes is equivalent to the "roux first" method, because the purpose of cooking the roux first is met, namely, you are incorporating the flour with the fat first, before liquids are added. If you toss the potatoes coated with flour around in butter or bacon grease, you also cook the flour to some degree. (Cooking it longer in this state "toasts" the flour and should give a browner roux.)
When the liquid is finally added, the sauce will not be lumpy or taste like raw flour. For some reason, if you can actually get the flour to mix directly with a water-based liquid, it still never really toasts up and tastes right.
The important criteria that are behind the "roux first" rule are met, as long as the potatoes aren't too watery, so I would vote to keep the recipe as it stands.
I really like the chart that yo have at the end as a summary for the recipe. Will you always do this when you present a recipe?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for the advice! I tried doing the roux first and it turned out perfectly.
keep up the great site....
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.
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.
Who cares what part of New York is considered New England or not, just give me some clam chowder.
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.
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. :D
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.
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Nei Ho Ma?
Nice article Michael.
I've been looking for a southern-bahamas style clam chowder, will share if I come across anything worthwhile, do you have any recipes for this?
This site appeals to me because my software engineer son in Austin cooks like you do. Before he made cookies at Christmas, he power-cleaned my KitchenAid until it looked brand-new. As a Catholic, I must chime in to refute the nonsense posted about why we eat fish on Fridays. The real reason, which goes back centuries, is to make a penance on the day Christ was crucified - Friday. Giving up the usual meat dinner leaves the family with the alternative of fasting (eating less than usual - giving up something good as compensation for our sins) or eating something else in place of meat ( chicken and broths made from meat or chicken are also out). Fish is an obvious non-meat choice. The fact that the Christian symbol from 2 millenia back is a stylized fish may indicate this penance has been going on for that long. Incidentally, this prohibition against meat on all Fridays is still in effect though in the past few decades the choice to eat meat and make another sort of penance on Fridays is possible. Practicing Catholics must still abstain from meat on all Fridays during Lent. Thanks for your efforts at exactitude. Nan
Saying that sort of thing in Boston is a good way to start a pub fight.
Upto about a year ago, Quiznos (the franchised sandwich shop) used to serve NE Clam chowder that was FANTASTIC. This was the only reason why I would visit the store for lunch, as the sandwiches were small and overpriced. Unfortunately, they stopped carrying the chowder but if anyone remembers the it like I did, please comment.
They're serving it again, in Utah at least, I second your comment. I used to eat there at least once a week. Finally the manager asked if I would Like a whole bag of it to take home, about a half gallon,10 bucks a bag.
My ten year old daughter and I just finished making the chowder. We made it for the soup course at our Thanksgiving dinner. We are allowing a few days for the flavors to blend together. But even though it hasn't had time for the flavors to blend , we both agreed that it was of the best chowders we have ever tasted. Thanks so much for the outstanding recipe and making cooking easy for a dad to do!
Look I see it's been awhile since the last posting. After reading some of the comments I think people don't get it! This recipe is not about geographic location it's not about you, it's about sharing an idea of some ingredients that if perfected in your on way, can make some people really glad they had the time to share your meal! As with this site and as with you all, thank you for sharing even if it wasn't warrented. Silly people! Love the world hate your self! Go make some chowder and let us all know how it turned out!! Long Island N.Y. ;)
I just used your recipe but was forced to make a modification which was a wonderful addition...I planned to make a double batch here at work and found out that our stock pot was missing. I had to split the batch and use a regular sauce pan. I took half of my batch and put it in a blender (before adding clams) and puree'd it. After the second batch was ready, I combined the puree with the regular batch and mixed well, adding the clams at the last....It was great. very creamy and tasty too...
Thanks for the recipe. All the best. R
The Catholic Church, as well as most of the various Orthodox Christian churches, still have prohibitions regarding meat on Fridays, as a sacrifice symbolic of that on Good Friday. Western Catholic tradition holds that its members from ages of at least 14-65 should abstain from eating "flesh or fowl" on Fridays. The Greek Orthodox church, if I recall correctly, asks its members to abstain from eating vertebrates.
This is for Fridays year round, not just in Lent.
Different conferences of bishops may redefine the specifics of the fast. For instance, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops decreed in the 50's that Catholics in the US must abstain from meat, or make some other penitential act.
Thus, few actually follow this directive today, but the custom still stands. The cafeteria at my workplace offers seafood dishes typically on Friday only.
If you don't want all that saturated fat in the cream, grab some diced potatoes and give them a ride in the blender with some milk. Makes the chowder nice and thick, but less fat. You could add a [u:9d290b32fd]little[/u:9d290b32fd] cream or half & half to round it out.
You know? Who ever heard of using a rouix in a classic new england chowder anyway?
I hail from Maine, where the chowder is what keeps us going all winter long, and I must say cookbooks ALWAYS get maine chodwer wrong!
For the best results, boil your claims seperately, then shuck and clean them....
After, you use heavy cream and Maine Round White potatoes (Or california long whites if you can't get maine whites). The white potatoes are also called All-Purpose potatoes. They have a medium startch content.
Add your diced onions and taters (peeled or not, you're choice, I prefer them dirty) to the heavy cream, and some sugar to taste. (Yep, I said sugar). You don't want to bring this to a boil, instead it takes some active time to keep the temperature around 190 Degrees F.
It takes about an hour to simmer, at about 45 minutes, the cream will be quite thick, and the potatoes nearly done. So, add in your clams and then use the clam juice to thin out the cream.
In liue of Salt pork, we actually tend to use Bacon. You cut up as much bacon as you want in your chowder and let it cook with the potatoes etc.
Anyway, this is why resturaunt chowder sucks so much south of Maine....if you want the best chowder, make it yourself. Most resturaunts start with either canned clams or canned chowder, which tastes horribly bland.
You can then garnish it with cracked or freshly ground pepper corn, and a few sprigs of parsely.
This might be rather late in coming, but I just wanted to tell you that I made this chowder this afternoon and it was an instant hit with this Pacific Northwest beach community! Even the 6 year old and the 3 year old kids were hosing it down, and they'd never eaten clam chowder before.
While walking the dogs on the beach this morning at low tide I saw a few holes in the sand and started digging...came up with 8 rather large butter clams and took it from there. The only thing I did differently from the recipie was rendering actual bacon for the fat content and leaving it in the chowder.
MMM, MMM GOOD! Thanks for coming up with a great recipie! You have "Cooking Alaskan", "New York Times Cookbook", and "Joy of Cooking" chowder recipies beat all to heck.
Veritas on Salmon Beach, Washington
And I forgot to mention in my previous post that I was born and bred in New England, so I ain't just talking out my *** about how good this quick and tasty chowder is :)
Veritas in Salmon Beach, Washington
Just found your site by accident and what an incredible accident it was!! Love the whole concept here and by golly the recipes work - they are very tasty. Its a very enjoyable read; both recipe and comments.
I will be back again soon for more great adventures into the land of cooking!
I've found that slightly sauteing the clams in the bacon grease makes them much more tender. Just saute them, and pull them out to drain.... continue as this recipe goes. YUM!
I've made chowder many times in my life and I would make it a little different each time because I was trying to find the perfect recipe. I was never completely satisfied with the results. This recipe, however, is absolutely delicious. Everyone who ate it after I made it shares my opinion. I think that the key to this recipe is using bacon grease and saving the bacon bits for garnishing. Previously, I would brown the bacon and then put both the bacon and grease into my chowder. The amount of bacon I used took away the taste of the clams. I highly recommend this recipe because you can feel confident that it will turn out tasty! For me, this recipe is a keeper.
I think you're right, Patty. Cooking the bacon in the soup would tend to overwhelm the clams. Besides, you'd lose the contrasting texture that comes from the crispy bacon.
I absoloutely LOVE clam chowder, and this recipe looks greatttt... i just got all the ingredients and i can't wait to try it!
Thanks for the great site... it's one of the best i've found, congrats on the great work.keep it up :)
Sorry for the sacrilege, but as much as I love NE clam chowder, I have pretty much quit eating potatoes.
Is there anything non starchy or sugary that could be used as a substitute?
Best NE Clam Chowder I ever had was on a cold, typical day in Newport, RI. ( it was June and around 68 degrees, we were freezing) My husband said let's take our two kids and go on the wharf and eat in one of those dive places that locals go to. Sure enough, we wnet in and had clam chowder, the best we ever had. Our son, who was 8 at the time, ate at least 3 bowls of it. Coming from Nashville, he had never had real clam chowder before. Great memories!! :D
I too am wanting to know about a potato substitute. Love the site - the marshmallows were great!
parsnips and turnips come to mind - not sure that fits in the non-starch role, tho
You folks that like it thick might like eating Mayo right out of the jar too. [u:23d27af5f8]R E A L[/u:23d27af5f8] Cape Cod Clam Chowda is not thick. You don't use a Roux. Just try out salt port in the pot on low heat so the fat won't brown. Then add the potatoes, onions and clams. Add butta and warm milk when you serve. If this is cooked correctly, the potatoes will thicken the chowda just enough. Of course you have to let this set for a day and then reheat. Much better the second day or the third, if there's any left. :D
Can New England clam chowder be frozen? I always make full recipes even though I live alone..can I freeze some for later?
New England is indeed made up of six states - CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT - and nothing more. I grew up in NY State but have lived in CT & MA for 23 years, and it still bothers me that when I say I'm originally from NY people assume it's NY City. It's a large state, there's way more to it than just Manhattan and the boroughs - the beauty of the Adirondacks, the lakes and rivers throughout Upstate NY, the list goes on. Regardless, no part of NY City is considered part of New England; perhaps it's just wishful thinking on the part of Manhattanites that they be part of Red Sox Nation.
As John posted above, the starch from the potatoes helps to thicken chowder. This, as well as well-rounded flavor, is why the potatoes should not be boiled separately and then added to the chowder. A flour and fat combo is a roux although in this recipe it's not prepared as a traditional roux. Whichever way works best to achieve the result you personally prefer is the one you should use. While it may not be "the" original New England version, the preparation as presented here is quite common in New England restaurants and home kitchens today.
It's not a great idea to freeze chowder as both the dairy products and the potatoes will lose their integrity, and reheating will result in a significantly different texture and appearance. Substituting parsnips or turnips for potatoes is not recommended because they are both much stronger flavors and would overwhelm the delicate flavor of the clams.
Thank you for sharing this recipe.
You can make chower that can be frozen. The key is to not add the dairy (either the cream or the milk) before it is frozen.
To make this Rhode Island chowda you need the following:
Bacon or Chirico
salt n pepper
Take your quahogs, wash em with a brush, and put them in a big pot. Cover with water. Put on very low to medium heat to cook them just enough to open them up.
While your clams are cooking dice either two slices of bacon or a small piece of chirico. Place this in a frying pan for 5 minutes then add your chopped onions. Cook together until the onions are soft and just beginning to brown. Remove from the fire.
Take you quahogs and shuck them over a bowl. Chop em. Put them in the bowl with the juice that you have collected.
At this point you have the onions and the clams cooked and your juice. Sometimes I use the water from cooking the quahogs , strain it to remove any sand etc, then cook the potatoes with it.
When the potatoes are half cooked add the rest of the items. Add salt and pepper to taste. At this point you have two choices. Continue and eat it. Or freeze it.
Take some whole milk and being to whisk it into the chowder. Bring it to a boil and then remove it from the heat and serve right away. Garnish with a little dab of butter and paprika.
Thats my story.
Any recipe, or how you choose to prepare it all boils down to one thing...personal preference. I HATE, hearing people say, "no, no, no..." trying to tell people they are doing it all wrong, just because they aren't fixing it they way they 'demand' you to. Sheesh! People are not all alike, and what one likes prepared one way, the other may not like at all... So, you prepare it the way you like it and leave everyone else alone to decide for themselves which way is best for them. Nobody is right, nobody is wrong...., fix it how it tastes the best to you and ignore all the nay sayers. There are NO so-called food experts who can tell you what you like or don't like...it is all up to the individual and how it tastes to them. No self-proclaimed food expert can decide that for you. All the nit-picking going on about this recipe is ridiculous... People trying to tout their own horns.....grow up!
At any rate, we dug clams today, tried this recipe made with our fresh clams, and it was scrumptious...all nine of us who ate it agreed! That is all that matters, how it tastes to you. If you don't like it, go post your recipe on your own site and let people decide for themselves.
Thanks for this recipe!
I love clam chowder and any recipe is just a base for your own creation!
As for eating fish on Friday, I think the real reason is because when you cook fish it stinks up the house. If you cook it on Friday night, you have time to clean the house on Saturday morning thus freshening away the fish funk!!! Ha Ha!!
WTF I thought this was a recipe not a geography class, east of the Hudson. NE USA, who cares it's about New England clam chowder. Gee Willekers!!
WHO CARES WHERE NEW ENGLAND ENDS OR BEGINS WE ARE LOOKING FOR A GOOD CLAM CHOWDER RECIEPE NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS MY HATS OFF TO THE AUTHOR OF THIS RECIEPE I TRIED IT LOVE IT AND WILL AND IT TO MY RECIEPE BOX. ROUX FIRST COME ON GIVE ME A BREAK IF YOU DONT LIKE THE ORDER OF STEPS FIND A DIFFERENT RECIEPE. GREAT RECIEPE EASY TO MAKE MOST IMPORTANTLY MY WIFE LOVED IT EXCEPT FOR MY MESS I MADE IN THE KITCHEN WHILE COOK WHAT CAN I SAY IM A GUY.
Afine Italian lady in Stamford Conn told me about 35 years ago what to do if my spaghetti sauce was too 'thin'. Her secret was to add a bit at a time of packaged instant potatoes, such a 'Hungry Jack'. She was right! It can be used to thicken many things, quickly and easily and does not impart a potato taste. n the case of clam chowder it is absolutely ideal.
would it be ok to substitute lard for the bacon grease?
I'm not very experienced at cooking yet, so still not sure what I can substitute for what...
lard is rendered pork fat - so yes it can be a substitute.
bacon grease adds a bit of 'bacon flavor' - but actually any fat (butter, etc.) can be used.
Heh... I always find that adding 1 clove of fresh minced garlic while simmering the potatoes give the chowder a nice little kick... Also try topping the finished chowder off with some lemon zest..
Can't resist sharing that my favorite restaurant clam chowdah flavah is Legal Seafood's. Tastes just as "New Englandy" at DC's National Airport as outside Providence Green Airport and also at Boston's on-the-wharf location - Family Guy
As a true Texan, seasoned cook and lover of clam chowder I thought I'd share one minor addition that adds major flavor to any existing recipe. Fresh dill weed. I've been cooking great chowder for years and never new what was missing until I came across an idea to add fresh dill. I not only add a little to the stock, but also a sprinkling at the end. The first time I did this, I believe I over did it (be careful, a little goes a long way) but my guests to this day disagree, and rave over it. This herb really adds a fresh and flavorful element to an already great soup. I'm preparing a pot now for a friend's birthday, he'll be eccstatic.
:) French guy
living in Viroflay, near Versailles and Paris
I used to travel in the US, Boston, Salem, San Francisco, San Jose,
Washington, Baltimore , Annapolis, I love so much the country.
I will try the clam chowder i tasted in Boston and Frisco.
Thanks a lot
I made this recipe and it was great!! My husband loved it he's from the New england area and grew up on it.
My question is two-fold: if I wanted to make this for a group of people, do I simply follow the recipe and multily by 5? (Need to serve 30) Or make it in batches and follow the original recipe?
Also, in your opinion, would this be a good recipe to make, then take to a pot luck and reheat in a slow cooker?
What a great idea, I will try it!!
Silly question, how long is a good time to allow the flavors to blend? I made mine and we ate it right away, it was delicious, but I bet it would've been even better if I'd made it the night before....
not sure the New England style needs a lot of "flavor melding" time - as opposed to the Manhattan style which needs to extract/blend the leafy herbs and vegetable.
I should think a hour, perhaps two is max. benefit. depending on the potato you use (hi/lo starch, there's a debate...) making it too far ahead and holding it could result in unintentional thickening as a starchy potato breaks down.
In order to cook this delicious chowder for about 30 people, should i make it in batches (following the recipe above) or can I multiply the measurements X 5?
..batches me thinks.
in a home kitchen, you'll probably use something like a stock pot. the problem with one huge batch is a small heating area (the pot bottom) to a tall volume. even with stirring I would not expect an even heating throughout the pot - given it's a something viscous mix.
two large diameter pots would be my approach . . .
made this recipe for about 30 of my nearest and dearest. We just made the whole recipe times 5. Huge pot. It worked fine. Greatest chowder I've ever made; used Yukon gold. Yum.
What is chirico? It was mentioned in one recipe as an equivalent to bacon. I have never heard of it and cannot find any definition on the web other than an Italian painter whose works look like he copied Salvador Dali. Help, anyone?
Phillip in Lexington, KY
it's a spiced dried / cured sausage
there are multiple spellings and of course no two brands taste exactly alike either.
I wanted to add clam chowder to our wine bar buffet and found several recipes on line. I am the winemaker/cook/janitor and do all wine blinding, so I blended several recipes together, from easy to hard, and came up with my version. Guess what? It is exactly the same. Only difference is leaving some of the bacon in during cooking and a splash of sherry after plating (not the cooking version).
I figured I was just lucky with the "blend" and have never deviated. Our customers would revolt. I don't usually get so lucky when blending recipes, so I can't wait to check out more of yours...!
Googling for Clam Chowder and found your site... The recipe sounds just like what I was looking for and I'm definitely going to try it... second, this site seems geared towards an egghead who likes to eat (aka ME), but the real reason I wrote is that I've never seen a recipe set up like your chart... LOVE. IT. It's perfect!
Hi, I've tried this recipe and I absoloutely Loved it... not only me, but the whole family enjoyed it a lot... i want to make it again some time soon and was wondering what we would have clam chowder soup with? any suggestions anyone? I was thinking of salmon and some rice.. would clam chowder go with this dish?
I followed this recipe to a T, but have never had clam chowder (or clams at all!) in my life. After buying a few cans of clams and tasting one, I decided that I like clams and would continue on to make the recipe. I used bottled clam juice instead of the stuff in the cans.
However, the result didn't impress me. I added salt to taste but it's kind of bland and I had to give it a quick pulse with my immersion blender to thicken it up a little. After chucking in a hunk of butter, the flavour improved tremendously, but it's still not that impressive. I hope my boyfriend likes it better than me. Maybe I'm just a sucker for butter.
Hi Butter -
well, clam chowder is all about the clams - it is not a rip-out-yo-taste-buds savory type dish. not sure I would describe "clam" as a 'delicate' flavor, but it's not in the same class as say pepperoni.
as to some specific questions, bottled juice vs canned - not an issue. if it is an issue it is the brand of juice being more or less 'better' - not can vs bottle
thickening: most of that comes from the potatoes; minor amount from the heavy cream reduction. a high starch potato type is best - and even that depends on variety and how cooked they are - slightly overcooked will give you some "freely available starch" a waxy type potato will not provide much thickening at all. regardless, a quick pass with the boat motor is entirely in order.
if you have the option, supermarket shelves being what they are, check out different brand names of clams and juice. they do vary. and if you have the availability - fresh clams will certainly set your taste buds in motion - steam them until they just open, scoop out the goodies, save the steaming juice for the chowder. there be clams, and then there be _clams_!
I should clarify - by "stuff in the cans" I meant the juice that was packed with the clams, which isn't clam juice at all but rather water that has had the clams soaking in it.
I am not sure how to choose a high-starch potato - where I live, they are divided into "Yellow flesh", "White" and "Red" potatoes. I like the yellow flesh because the flavour. Though I'm not sure what kind of potato it is, or any of the other ones.
The yellow flesh potatoes are somewhat more yellow inside than the white potatoes, though they look about the same on the outside. The skins are very thin and I never remove them. The only difference between the white and red potatoes seem to be the skin (they could have others but I have never noticed them).
I don't live in an area where fresh seafood is readily available, and even then, I don't think I'd have time to go through shucking all the clams I'd need for a recipe such as this! Nor carrying them home from the supermarket... can't imagine what a gigantic bag I'd need to carry them all.
try russets for the chowder.
white potatoes are often called "all purpose" - they range in the middle regarding starch
reds, fingerlings, yukons are low starch.
juice from the clam can - that works!<g>
our markets (sometimes) have fresh chopped clams in a container. worth a try if you find them!
This recipe was great! It was not much of a hassle for a beginner like me. I was little generous on the salt though. So my clam chowder was a tad too salty but the taste of the clams and thickness of the chowder was fine.
The guideline on having 18%-30% fat content was a good gauge. I used approximately 230 ml of cream (20% fat) and 200 of milk (low fat though). I was quite worried that the texture might not turn out well. But it was great!
Thank you for your recipe and I am glad my first attempt at clam chowder was a good one! :)
I've made cream-based chowders for years, always doing it without a recipe. Yesterday I made it again while attempting to standardize it for family members to use.
I got confused about the best order of operations, which made me call myself all sorts of unkind names. So it was funny (and helpful) to find the discussion "roux first" on this site. (I usually opt for the "messy kitchen" method.)
Anyway, thanks to everyone who is so generous with their knowledge.
I have been making/eating NE Clam Chowder for over 65 years and never in my life have I heard so many undesirable comments as to what it consists of. Especially the adding dill, parsnips, garlic, and whatever other fancy someone adds.
First off, NE CC. is started with Salt Pork (for the flavor) and for the fat to cook the onion in.
I use, as did my Mother and her Mother before her, Soft Shelled, Quahogs, Sea Clams or the like.
Use clam juice or save the clam broth from steamers the night before.
Do the usual sauteing of the onion, then add the diced potatoes and lastly the clams. However, and this is the real kicker: we always used evaporated milk in our NE Chowder. Top it all off with some cream (usually this was from the top of the milk bottle in the old days). Sprinkle some paprika on top with a generous pat of butter and put in the refrigerator until the next day. This affords the chowder to take on all the luscious flavors.
Love the word LUSCIOUS....will try this method.
Used your recipe after trying several other's over the years, yours is excellent and easy to follow. Made it for 21st Birthday of my son, as a requested item on celebration menu and it was enjoyed by all. Thanks for a user friendly site!
I was given some fresh clams yesterday. i will be making clam chowder tomorrow night. The recipe i have (from a local chef) has you to saute onions and celery. The recipe also calls for thyme. Does any of this sound right?
it all sounds 'right'
as you can see in this and many other discussions, there is no such thing as 'the one and only authentic' <fill in the dish>
if you liked your local chef's chowder, go with his directions.
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
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.
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.
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...
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?
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.
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.
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!
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. :D
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!
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.
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. :)
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
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.
Thanx Dilbert. I will do just that. I am sure that the result will be scrumptious.
Who said to shut up about where New England begins and ends? Do you have a problem? Come over here and let's talk about it for a second.
We here in New England love to argue about anything, and everything. A very important things to us is our group identity, which is in part defined by our geography.
A prized characteristic here is to be honest to others. That's why when you ask someone "How are you today?" they might respond with "Horrible, I'm just having one hell of a day." Think I'm lying? Look at the Boston Herald comments about the Red Sox. We're a bitter and angry group of people. And when people make mistakes about us, we care, and we love to point out flaws. Hence the voluminous response response to a tiny geographical error.
I think if you are going to cook New England food, you might try on our emotional angst and bitterness while you're cooking. Just for kicks! Scowl the whole time you cook.
Wikipedia is wrong. Just for the record, here is how Bostonians define New England:
NYC is not New England. Half of Connecticut is not New England either; it is Suburban NYC or "The backyard" or the city. Yankee fans too.
All of Mass, Vermont, R.I., New Hampshire and Maine are in New England.
Many consider New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland to be a part of New England, but generally we term this group "Maritime States" because it's Canada, even though we do share "New England" cultural heritage with them.
Quebec is Not New England; is is French Canadia.
Secretly, we all wish NYC was a part of New England, but our angst gets in the way. Probably the day we admit we like NY, we'll get annexed.
Thanks for the recipe and the comments were wonderful and helpful.
I have been making a version of chowder for years that my family loves.
I always make a huge potful because they eat it for breakfast and lunch the next day.
Since our family rarely goes by breakfast conventions, it is rather sweet to see them eat and enjoy huge bowlsful of it the next day and ignore other food.
What is a standby menu with the chowder is cornbread or a whole grain quick bread, and an apple crisp for dessert, no ice cream or whipped cream.
I thought this was about 'Soup' not a 'State' or Region.
As a visitor to San Francisco from Australia one of the highlights was the Clam Chowder - couldn't get enough! I have tried Campbell's canned chowder and it is not too bad but it has inspired me to try to cook my own. This recipe looks great, I usually do a roux but have an open mind about it.
The arguments about ingredients and geography etc. do not change the fact that New England Clam Chowder is fabulous.
I love this receipe. Thanks for all the detail and pictures, as it really helps to know what things are supposed to look like at various stages. My husband loves clam chowder, so I just made this version last weekend and it was the best we've ever tasted.
We just made the New England Clam Chowder. It was the best that we have ever had.
I'm moving there from the left coast soon...so what really is NE? Headed to Maine BTW...it's 80 here in San Diego today BTW.. :-)
You don't want to simply plop all the flower down. Singer works best.
I tried your recipe for the first time but with some of my own revisions added... First let me tell you that in our opinions here the combination of the two were very good indeed. Thank you.
First I did use bacon. and very thick lean and tasty type. Second I used fresh Razor clams I got my self. third I used two sprigs of garlic and several good shots of Tabasco sauce as my seasoning to taste
On the making process I chopped the clams into very small pieces and cooked them separately in a pan with the garlic till not quite brown, draining off the juice into the the already cooking potatoes. Every thing else I did as your recipe asked..
Thanks again it's nice to look up on the Internet a recipe and have it turn out good. I'll print and keep this one.. :)
I must side with the whole "Roux First" discussion. A good clam chowder should take a while to make...I don't like the "quick & easy" methods.
I use fresh clams, not canned ones (must cook separate because of the sand still coming out - even after draining), did the roux etc.
But maybe, I just like cooking :P
Thanks for the recipe, a great guide!
I made this exactly as instructed and it was a huge hit. In the past I have always made it with a roux and I thought this was much better. I'm from Maine but I'm open to new interpretations of old favorites :)
Hmmm..... I just made this, but used salt pork grease instead of bacon grease, no onion, and doubled the clams.
It is off somewhere, and I can't quite tell what it is. I'm thinking it might be the clam juice, or it might be the starch from the potatoes. I added some butter and it did help. For what its worth, the lady liked it.
Delicious. Thank you! I fried up the onions and potatoes in butter (instead of bacon fat) and added celery and carrots too. I didn't have cream or half and half so used milk and it was still great. Nice and creamy.
Thanks for the recipe!
A roux is an essential part of French cooking and is therefore an essential part of Cajun cooking. This was adapted into southern cooking. I repeat: SOUTHERN COOKING. This is why a roux is not used in traditional New England clam chowder. Nothing is to stop anyone from using a roux in clam chowder, but if a roux is used, don't consider what you have made to be traditional New England clam chowder.
I've made this soup twice now and it came out great both times. I love clam chowder and have been looking for a good recipe to try - and this is it. I think cooking in the bacon grease definitely adds flavor to the soup! Great recipe!
Here on Long Beach Island ,nj we our proud of our chowda, and have a cook-off each fall. The best is fresh. Don't add the clams till the end. If you are in a hurry, buy chowder in the can. Good cooking can take some time!!
New England clam chowder recipe sounds delicious. Is it possible to make larger amount and freeze it?
For the person living in Paris, of course we have clams in Europe, in the UK they are known as cockles in French "praires" and in German "Venusmuschel". They are not the same varieties of clam as in the USA, i.e. no littlenecks or quahogs but they are in the clam family all the same and can be made into clam chowder. Cockles are usually sold minus the shell, the best place for cockles in the UK is in Wales,Swansea Market on a Wednesday, there are also delicious cockles in Morecambe Bay (where the Chinese cockle-pickers were killed by the rising tide).
Honestly; I think if you ever had OUR clam chowder, ITS WONDERFUL, whether your from Chicopee, Mass or Fall River, Mass, Hartford, Ct or Providence, RI, Maine or Vermont, Every state and every family makes clam chowder different,! All taste good cuz it from New England!!! Hence the name, My grandmothers is slightly different then my mom, i like grams better maybe cause its old school, like the one guy said using the crean from the top of the milk back in the day. Chircio, thats a Protuguese sausage used to make kale soup! And the best is Gaspars out of Bedford Mass! I love the recipe and can't wait to make it tomorrow! I live in FL now and their chowder sucks New England Clam Chowder is just that... New England!!!
Well, i tried to follow the recipie best i could except for the portions. This is a dish my wife allways orders when she gets the chance so thought i'd take a crack at it. I started from the bacon grease all the way down to the heavy cream and half and half. Stuffed it in the middle with plenty of minced clams and whole baby ones. Ohh yeah, I went for broke and just for good measure added some chopped mushrooms. I got carried away and ended up with a big pot. I added some Rock sea salt and black pepper, stired it well. stuck a spoon in it and tasted. Damn that is good. Blew my mind if i do say so myself. You boys sure know your stuff up in here and im grateful. Man, i mean this stuff rivals any i've had anywhere! Thanks again for teaching me how to make this dish.
Love the recipe sounds so good, I know this is an old blog, but I also love the way to have the recipe listed below the pics....very unique format and hope to see more of your recipes....keep cookin :)
Read all the comments and ready to go-BUT I need to make this for 40 people. Do I taje basic recipe and multiple everything by 6?/
Hope for answer soon - I'm on leaving Wed 10/26 to Mexico - and YES I do my own clamming.
... just everything x6
bottom line yes, recipes are usually flexible to minor changes in proportions _except_
seasonings - some are "stronger" than others and less than x6 will work - a minor "generality" in this case as the recipe is just salt&pepper
"thickening" - one single huge pot is is going to cook differently - in particular the amount of starch coming out of the potatoes - so don't put in all the x6 liquids at one crack - hold off to see how it thickens up and be prepared to add more or less liquid than the x6 math indicates.
Who cares where "NEW ENGLAND" is...
WEST COAST ALL THE WAY BABY!
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. New England is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada (the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec) and the state of New York.
Since this is a "stew", the recipe is quite "forgiving". Nonetheless I made this chowder once, sticking closely to the recipe EXCEPT that I used diced white baby potatoes with skin-on, and was thrilled.
Using Fresh clams:
Today I made an over-sized recipe with 2 dozen clams ranging from "Cherrystone" to large "Quahog" size, and it is again marvelous. Washed, then soaked the raw clams in water with corn starch and salt, then rinsed them again. Steamed the clams open, saved the broth (let the sand settle out) and used this instead of bottled clam juice. Same as before using baby white skin-on spuds. Wow-ee.
With fresh clams (and no food processor nearby for chopping - lost it in Hurricane Irene and haven't replaced it yet) it's quite a bit more time-consuming, but I'm not complaining - it was worth it!
We are all um... happy as a clam here.
I thought any parts of America in the first 13 states are classified as New England, unless, of course if you wish to call yourself New France instead. :D
So we tried your Clam Chowder tonight and it was FANTASTIC! I had three tins of clams left that my mom shipped over to the UK for me (you can't get them here) and I needed to use them up before we move back to NH. It went down a treat! The only thing I added was a can of creamed corn because that's how I remember my mom's. Thanks for the fantastic memory!
I have made this so many times now, that I have to post a comment. My husband is from the North and loves clam chowder. Campbell's Chunky New England style has been a staple of his single life. I tried making this recipe for the first time last year it was a hit!
Our brother in law, who is from Boston, LOVED it too. He and his wife said it was the better than a restaurant. So decadent.
I've made it a few times now, and it's always received rave reviews. I figured it was time for me to post a big Thank You!! I love your site and learning the science behind the ingredients. You have made me a better cook.
I just made this recipe again, except I used all unsweetened rice milk. To help keep the recipe thick I added some olive oil in with the grease from 4 strips of bacon to bring it up to about 1/3 cup grease. Then I used 1/3 cup flour as well. Super tasty and lactose free!
try adding a few tins of smoked oysters at the end. I usually finish with some fresh lime-juice and finely chopped Cilantro. I've been known to hide JUST a hint of Jamaican curry in there, not enough anyone figures it out. For bacon I try to use bacon ends and pieces since I can have meaty chunks of bacon then, I trim the fat off to a sane level first. Walmart has the bacon ends and pieces where I live in Madison, Wisconsin. Serve with warmed real sourdough bread, no yeast added. Locally the best sourdough comes from outfits that have fancy steam-injection ovens to make that leathery crust.