Post # 1
DH’s fav soup is apparently clam chowder (New England). I’ve never made it before, but would love to surprise him for the holidays.
Does anyone have a killer recipe and/or any tips for me?
I’m a bit perlexed as to how I’m going to obtain the clams for the chowder (and get them out of their shell!) …but maybe the seafood guy will do it for me! 🙂 …is there such a thing as canned clams (and would I even want to use them??)
Post # 3
This is the basic recipe I use. It calls for canned clams that can be found in the seafood section of most grocery stores. I think it comes out okay with canned clams, but be careful seasoning with salt, I find the canned clams to be a little salty. I prefer it with fresh clams but it makes it more work.
If you use fresh clams, you would get them at the seafood counter at a grocery store. They should be closed, or close when lightly tapped. Any that are already open are dead and unsafe to eat- throw them out.
First you need to clean them. You take a scrub brush, and lightly scrub down each shell while rinsing with water. I usually let the cleaned clams sit in cool water and change it out once or twice to make sure I’ve gotten rid of all the sand and grit on them.
Next heat a pot of water on the stove to a boil. Add the clams, and steam for 5-7 minutes. As the clams open up remove them from the pot. Any clam that doesn’t open while cooking should be thrown out. ( I throw out 5-10 in any batch of fresh clams I buy).
Now that the clams are open you can break away the top shell fairly easily, and use a knife to pry the clam meat away from the bottom shell. Take the water you used to cook the clams, and run it through a strainer a few times. Reserve this to use in place of the clam juice in the original recipe. (this is why cleaning before cooking is so important.)
Let me know if you have more questions, clam chowder is sooooo yuummmy!
Post # 4
I don’t really go by recipes online unless I’m at a loss for how to do something, but here’s how I would make clam chowder (I think I’m a pretty good cook 🙂
I’d probably buy about 2 or 3 dozen little neck clams-scrub them clean, the advice PP gave about discarding any open clams prior to cooking is important, as well as discarding any that don’t open after cooking. Ok-here goes:
I would start by browning a bunch of fresh chopped garlic & onion in a large stock pot. Then, I’d add celery, carrot, minced red potatoes (nuke them first so they’re soft), and some sherry wine…let that go and simmer for a while until all veggies are tender. Then, I would add some fish stock or chicken stock and bring it to a boil. I would then add the fresh clams and make sure they’re submerged in the liquid. In my experience, when shellfish open during cooking and they open in a wine sauce or broth, they’re MUCH more flavorful. I would add lots of fresh herbs like thyme, some rosemary, some chives maybe. Then, in another pot, I’d make a roux by melting butter then adding milk and flour, and wisking until thickened. Your roux will then go into the stockpot to combine with the clams and veggies. To thicken soups, I like Wondraflour best (it’s a very fine flour in a shaker that works wonderfully with a little bit). I’d then remove the clams, take the meat from the shells, and toss the clam meat back into the soup. You may want to use an immersion blender if the soup is too chunky for his taste, or you may not. Good luck!!! Also-for canned clams, I adore Geisha brand baby clams. They have great flavor. You could even mix canned clams and fresh clams for an extra hearty soup! 🙂
ETA-if you’re feeling ambitious, fry up some bacon til its super super crispy, break it up, then drop it right in the soup! Yuuuuuuuuuuuum!
Post # 5
This blog always has amazing recipes – I haven’t tried this particular one but she hasn’t done me wrong yet!