CLAMS (Available throughout the year)

Two kinds of Clam Chowder - try them both! clam graphic

Bowl of Clam ChowderCLAM CHOWDER

4 quarts littleneck clams (about 1-2/3 cups cooked and chopped)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup water
2 ounces salt pork, finely chopped
2 cups chopped onions
3 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4-1/2 cups clam broth
3 cups fish stock
2 cups light cream
Oyster crackers (optional)

Clean the clams and place them in a large pot along with the garlic and water. Steam the clams just until opened, about 6 to 10 minutes, depending upon their size. Drain and shell the clams, reserving the broth. Mince the clam flesh, and set aside. Filter the clam broth either through coffee filters or cheesecloth and set aside. In a large, heavy pot slowly render the salt pork. Remove the cracklings and set them aside. Slowly cook the onions in the fat for about 6 stirring frequently, or until cooked through but not browned. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the reserved clam broth and Fish Stock, and whisk to remove any flour lumps. Bring the liquid to boil, add the potatoes, lower the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir in the reserved clams, salt-pork cracklings, and light cream. Heat the chowder until it is the temperature you prefer. Serve in large soup bowls with oyster crackers on the side.

Serves 8

Recipe from: Legal Seafoods Cookbook by George Berkowitz, Jane Doerfer (Doubleday)

bowl of manhattan clam chowder


5 cups water
3 dozen chowder (quahog) or cherrystone clams, scrubbed
5 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion (12 ounces), finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 pound all-purpose potatoes (3 medium), peeled and finely chopped
1/2 bay leaf
1-1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt

In nonreactive 8-quart saucepot, heat 1 cup water to boiling over high heat. Add clams; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until clams open, 5 to 10 minutes, transferring clams to bowl as they open. Discard any clams that have not opened.
When cool enough to handle, remove clams from shells and coarsely chop. Discard shells. Strain clam broth through sieve lined with paper towels into bowl.
In same clean saucepot, cook baon over medium heat until browned; add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery; cook 5 minutes.
Add clam broth to bacon mixture in saucepot. Add potatoes, remaining 4 cups water, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their liquid, breaking them up with side of spoon. Simmer 10 minutes longer.
Stir in chopped clams and heat through. Discard bay leaf and sprinkle with parsley. Taste for seasoning; add salt as needed.

Yield: about 12 cups or 12 first-course servings
Per serving: about 117 calories, 5g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 6g total fat (2g saturated), 12 mg cholesterol, 342mg sodium
Recipe from: The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook (Hearst Books)