I like me some clam chowder. I would go so far as to say it is probably my favorite food.
After looking up and trying recipes online and not finding anything that I really liked, I have put together the following chowder:
3 large Potatoes (diced)
2 large Carrots (diced)
1 large Onion (diced)
600 grams of fresh clams (weight with shell. about 1.5 cups shelled)
2 cloves Garlic (diced)
4 strips bacon
5 T real butter
1 liter milk (or use 500ml milk, 500ml heavy cream if you like it rich)
salt & pepper to taste
flour or corn starch to thicken
Now, I don’t like to use pre-made stuff when I cook. If I have the veggies and spices in the garden, I’ll use those over store bought. I prefer to make everything from scratch so this is a “no cheating” version. Only things I didn’t make are the milk , salt & pepper, and the corn starch.
First things first. Need to cook the clams and get them out of their shells. To do this, simply put the clams into a large pan and fill the pan with water until they cover the clams 1/2 way. Only put enough clams into the pan for a single layer. If they are on top of each other, it might prevent the ones on the bottom from opening. Bring the water to boiling until the clams pop open. Keep the water in the pan and add more clams. Keep adding water as needed to keep the clams 1/2 covered. Don’t get rid of the water (now clam juice), we’ll use it later. Pull the clams out of their shells and put the clam meat into a bowl. Repeat until you have shelled all the clams.
Cook bacon in a large pot until brown (~10 minutes).
Take out the bacon and put it aside but leave the grease in the bottom of the pan.
Add butter, diced onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic and salt & pepper to bacon fat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to coat everything.
Pour water and clam juice into pot and add water until the potatoes are covered. There may be enough clam juice left over so the water may not be needed. Cook ~15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Stir in the milk, clams, and bacon and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until it starts to thicken. Add flour or corn starch to bring chowder to your desired thickness (I like mine very thick).
Once it starts to thicken, lower heat, cover, and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Serve hot and top with parsley. Also goes good in a sourdough bread bowl.