Saturday, December 18, 2021


 If you love seafood chowders, I think you will love this one. It includes a little Old Bay Seasoning and plenty of seafood.

1 lb fresh clams, littleneck or manila
4 strips bacon, diced (I use applewood smoked bacon)
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 t fresh or dried thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 T Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
1 jar clam nectar
1 medium potato, peeled and grated or ½ cup instant potato buds
½ cup white wine
½ lb haddock or cod, cut into bite-size pieces
½ lb sea scallops, cut in half
½ lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup dry sherry
1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
3 T unsalted butter
½ lb cooked crab meat
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Paprika, for garnish
Diced bacon, for garnish

Place clams in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Place clams in a bowl of cold water and set aside.

Fry bacon in a Dutch oven or soup pot until crisp. 

Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. 
Pour off half of the bacon fat and slowly sauté onion, celery, and potatoes for 12 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the thyme, bay leaves, Old Bay, clam nectar, potatoes, and shredded potato or ½ cup instant potato buds.
Cover and very slowly simmer for 10 minutes. 

While chowder base is simmering, pour wine into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil Add the clams, cover and slowly simmer until clams have opened, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Remove clams with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
Pour the clam broth through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-proof pitcher.

Add the fish, scallops, shrimp, and clam broth (from the clams) to the chowder pot.  
Simmer for 5 minutes. 

Remove the clams from the shells, coarsely chop (if needed), and add to the chowder pot. 
Add the sherry, evaporated milk, whole milk or half-and-half, and butter.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer one more minute. 

Add the crab meat, turn off heat and let chowder sit for 15 minutes. 
Reheat until just below boiling.

Ladle into 4 warm soup bowls.
Sprinkle each serving with paprika and top with some diced bacon.

Makes 4 bowls or 8 cups of chowder.

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