Manhattan Clam Chowder

This dish was created for the subreddit, /r/52weeksofcooking, where the theme was “chowder”. The first thing I thought of was clam chowder because I love it but then I realised that I have never even eaten Manhattan Clam Chowder. After looking online, I found that most people either love or hate it and there was very little in between. I decided to give it a shot since looking at the ingredients, it seemed like it would taste really good.

Holy hell am I glad I did. This turned out really good. I do not even care the James Beard hates it. Screw that guy! I will definitely make this again especially since it was so easy to make.

Also, since I live on the pacific coast side of the US, I could not find Quahog clams anywhere so I had to use the only thing the stores around me had. I am sure better clams would make this even better.

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 195 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Summary

  • Course: Soup
  • Cuisine: American
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 110 minutes
  • Waiting Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

2 lbs Clams
1 Tablespoon Butter, unsalted
1/3 lb Bacon (about 3 thick slices)
1 Large Yellow Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Ribs Celery
1 Green Bell Pepper
2 Carrots
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
3-4 Yukon Gold Potatoes
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 28 oz can Diced Tomatoes
Freshly Ground Pepper
Parsley for Garnish

Steps

  1. Place the Clams in a large bowl and fill with water. Strain through a colander and give an additional rinse.
  2. Place the rinsed Clams in a large dutch oven and add about 4 1/2 – 5 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium-high and cover.
  3. Cook until the Clams have opened (about 10 – 15 minutes). Discard any Clams that do not open after 15 minutes.
  4. Strain the broth through a sieve lined with a cheesecloth.
  5. Remove the Clam meat from the shells and set aside. Discard the shells.
  6. Rinse out the dutch oven and return it to the stove. Add the Butter and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  7. While the Butter is melting, chop the Bacon into smaller pieces, and add to the dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the Bacon starts to brown (about 7 – 10 minutes).
  8. While the Bacon is cooking, dice the Yellow Onion, peel and mince the Garlic, chop the Celery ribs, dice the Green Bell Pepper, and peel and chop the Carrots.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, remove the Bacon from the fat, and set aside.
  10. Add the diced Onions, minced Garlic, chopped Celery, diced Green Bell Pepper, chopped Carrots, and Red Pepper Flakes to the dutch oven.
  11. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft but not brown (about 10 – 15 minutes).
  12. While the vegetables are cooking, cube the Potatoes.
  13. Add the cubed Potatoes to the dutch oven and cook until they begin to soften (about 7 – 10 minutes).
  14. Add 4 cups of the Clam Broth (reserving the rest or discard), Thyme, and Bay Leaf.
  15. Partly cover the dutch oven and bring up to a simmer. Simmer until the Potatoes are tender (about 10 – 15 minutes).
  16. Meanwhile, chop the Clams so that they are the size of the diced Bacon.
  17. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smash a few of the Potatoes to release their starch and thicken the broth a bit.
  18. Stir in the Diced Tomatoes (with juices) and heat them through (about 3 – 5 minutes).
  19. Add the reserved Clams and Bacon, stirring to combine. Add the Black Pepper to taste.
  20. Let the the chowder come up to a simmer, and remove from heat. Fish out the Thyme and Bay Leaf and discard.
  21. Let the chowder sit out for about 1 hour to cure. Any more than 1 hour, put in the refrigerator.
  22. Reheat the chowder over medium-low (about 30 minutes).
  23. Chop the Parsley and serve on top of the chowder.
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