cissalj: (scribe)
[personal profile] cissalj
Here is our traditional clam chowder Xmas eve recipe. It's not a brilliant recipe, but it's convenient (meaning, no fresh clams necessary!). Adapted from a recipe from Bon Appetite, if I recall correctly.

4 oz fatty ham, or bacon (note: NOT highly flavored maple bacon; lots of smoke OK)
3+ medium onions, chopped
2 med celery stalks, chopped

3-4 medium potatoes- I like red or golds

2 ~10 oz cans baby clams, drained with liquid reserved

2 cups water (optional)

0.5 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
white pepper to taste
salt to taste (we usually do not add extra, except a wee amount when sauteing the veg)

2 cups milk, or 1 can evaporated milk (around 1.67 cups)*
1 cup cream (unnecessary with evap milk)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour

Brown ham or bacon till almost done. Pour off fat if you have more than 1-2 tablespoons. Add chopped onions and celery, and a tiny sprinkling of salt. Saute slowly until the veg is soft but not browned.

Meanwhile, cube the potatoes, in roughly 0.5-0.75-inch chunks.

When the onions and celery are softened, add the potatoes, plus the liquid from the clams, the water (start with 1 cup), thyme, bay leaf, and pepper. simmer slowly until the potatoes are just done, probably 15-35 min.

Meanwhile, melt the butter. Add the flour, stirring and cooking until it's bubbly. Add the milk/cream or evap milk slowly, stirring it in. Once it starts to thicken, add some of the liqiid from the soup.

When the milk mix is thick, and the potatoes are done, stir them together. Add the clams and heat until warm.

Serve.

*I usually use the evap milk- skimmed or not, as you prefer- it then re-heats better. Depending on the consistency you want, you may want to add more water if you go this route.
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