Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Homemade Clam and Veggie Chowder

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Cool weather is the perfect time for a steamy bowl of rich clam chowder! But, the truth is, I love chowders even if it is hot outside!

My favorites are: sweet corn chowder, veggie chowder, and last but not least, Clam and Veggie Chowder!

There's something pretty special about being able to whip up a bowl of steamy comfort food that's loaded with veggies and baby clams! All you need is some crunchy bread or corn muffins, and you've got a very satisfying, rib stickin' meal!

4 large servings

3 slices of thick sliced bacon, cooked til crispy.

1 tablespoon bacon grease, retained.

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery chopped

Tender inner celery leaves, kept separate to put in just before serving

1 large carrot, coarsly grated or julienned

2 tablespoons sweet red pepper, chopped

1 1/2 pounds of russet potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup of whole milk

1 cup half and half

3/4 cup clam juice, from drained baby clams

2 tablespoons corn starch

4 medium mushrooms, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped


  • Fry up 3 slices of thick sliced bacon on MEDIUM heat, stirring often, taking care to not burn.
  • When bacon is nicely browned and crisp, transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of hot bacon grease to large saute pan and melt in 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • Prepare veggies you will use in the chowder, (I decided to add red pepper after this photo was taken).
  • Sauté onion for 3 minutes with a pinch of salt. Save out some of the tender inner celery leaves to put in chowder right before serving.
  • Add two stalks of chopped celery, large shreds of a large carrot, and 2 tablespoons of sweet red pepper.
  • Cook veggies, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
  • Add broccoli chopped in small pieces; sauté for 2 more minutes (broccoli will still be crunchy at this point).
  • Transfer veggies to a dish.
  • Wash and peel 1 1/2 pounds of russet potatoes
  • Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes.
Don't worry, the potatoes just have broccoli "crumbs" on them!

  • Open your tin of baby clams (I use them instead of regular canned clams because they are tender and there is alot more meat and clam juice).
  • Drain clams over a bowl or 2-cup measure.
  • Reserve clam juice for chowder.
  • With clams still in colander, wash them under running water to remove any clam shell fragments.
  • To a deep saute pan add 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon sea salt and chopped potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil on HIGH; set timer for 9 minutes, cook til tender but not mushy.
  • Pull one out and taste.
  • Do not drain potatoes, leave water in pan.
  • Slide your veggies back into the saute pan, on top of cooked potatoes.
  • Add 1-cup whole milk and 1-cup half and half, or 1 1/2-cups 2% and 1/2 cup heavy cream.
  • Lightly sprinkle the surface with cayenne pepper (see photo below), 1 teaspoon salt, and fresh ground pepper (I did 16 grinds).
  • Whisk 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into reserved clam juice (this will thicken the chowder slightly).
  • Add clam juice mixture to chowder; cooking on MEDIUM, while stirring to prevent scortching.
  • When chowder begins to boil, reduce heat to LOW and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • With your small (bacon) frying pan on MEDIUM-HIGH add 1 1/2 tablespoons butter.
  • Toss 4 medium, sliced mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of flour.
  • Saute floured mushrooms til nicely golden.
  • Add mushrooms to chowder along with chopped parsley and inner chopped celery leaves.
  • Taste chowder and adjust seasonings to your liking!
  • Garnish with crisp bacon and snipped chives . . . Enjoy!
This is our Fall clam chowder. In the Spring my chowder will have asparagus or maybe fresh sweet peas and new potatoes. In the summer I like to add fresh-cut sweet corn right off the cob! Take advantage of the tastiest and most affordable, by buying your vegetables locally, when in season. Better yet, pick them from your own garden for just picked freshness!
Delicious and Nutritious ~ Satisfying Comfort Food in a Bowl!
This is a meal you can be proud to serve to both family and friends, and would make a wonderful Christmas Eve Chowder with my Blue and Yellow Corn Muffins (I'll share that recipe next week).

Hope your week is going well! Thanks for dropping by . . . Over at Julie's!!!

Julie's Clam and Veggie Chowder . . . yum, yum!!!


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