Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Recipe Review -- Breezie's Clam Chowder


I've had this recipe for clam chowder on my list of recipes to try for weeks. I really enjoy New England style clam chowder and I have to say that the only things that could have made this soup better were a frosty night and a jar of thyme. Our weather was not exactly perfect soup weather -- it was warm and humid out -- but with the air conditioner on, we could pretend. And the thyme -- I had a jar three days ago, but I have no idea what happened to it! I can't really say, however, that I missed it.

This soup recipe was wonderful. It was not exactly a "breeze" to throw together, and it made an awful lot of dirty dishes, but it was worth the effort. It also made a lot of soup. If you don't have a crowd, or are not prepared to eat leftovers, pare it down. I made the whole batch and will send some home with my in-laws.

The recipe came from Barb's brother "Breezie." The only change I made was in the preparation of the clams. One grain of sand can ruin a whole bowl of chowder for me, so I take extra care to get the sand out. My modifications are in italics.

Breezie's Clam Chowder

1/4 lb. bacon (4 or 5 slices), diced
6 ribs celery, cut thin
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 T. butter
1 qt. chicken stock
black pepper to taste
1/2 t. thyme
5 or 6 potatoes, diced (I didn't peel them before dicing, just washed them well)
3 cans (6.5 oz each) minced clams
1 package Louis Kemp "crab," sliced
8 T. butter
6 T. flour
1 qt. milk
1/4 c. cold water

Dice and blanch bacon in 2 cups boiling water for about 2 minutes.

Open clam cans and pour them into a mesh sieve, allowing juice to drain into a bowl. Place clams in a colander and rinse them with cool water, discarding any dark bits. Drain.

Saute celery & onions in 2 T. butter for 10 minutes over medium heat. Don't allow to brown.

In large soup pot, add bacon, celery & onions to chicken stock. Add clam juice (pour from bowl very slowly being sure to leave sediment in the bowl), pepper and thyme. Bring to a heavy simmer. Add potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are cooked but still firm.

In another pot, melt the stick of butter and blend with flour. Add 1 qt. hot milk; stir and until thickened to make a bechamel sauce. Add drained clams, crab, and the bechamel to the soup. Stir and simmer 10 minutes.

Make a slurry with the cornstarch and ice water and add to the soup. Bring to a boil and stir until soup thickens. Lower the heat and simmer until ready to serve.


1 comment:

Barb, sfo said...

We experimented--the soup freezes well! It looks kind of "icky" when you defrost it, but heating it low and slow and with plenty of stirring makes it JUST FINE.