Easy Clam Chowder

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Easy Clam Chowder  

This is an easy clam chowder recipe. Dress it up with a dash of sherry, heavy cream, shrimp, and a firm fish such as sea bass or haddock, and people will think you are a gourmet cook.

Serves 4 generously

Ingredients

·         about 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

·         1 small sweet onion diced finely-about inch chunks

·         8 medium-sized red potatoes, diced into 1/3 inch chunks

·         3 8 oz bottles of clam juice

·          8 oz of filtered water

·         2 cans of minced or chopped clams, about 1 cup

·         2 medium-sized leaves of arugula finely chopped

·          a small carrot, finely chopped

·         a pinch of dill

·         three to four twists of a pepper mill

·         a dash of sea salt to taste

·         12. 1/2 cup of milk (I use skim milk)

Some people like to add a stalk of chopped celery or a dash of celery salt.

You can omit the milk altogether for a broth base. You can also add skim or whole milk or even heavy cream. Some people add tomatoes for what is called Rhode Island chowder.

Add more or less clam broth depending upon how much broth you want. Some people like to add a stalk of chopped celery.

My mother used to buy whole clams that Rhode Islanders call quahogs and grind them into tiny, fine bits instead of using minced clams. You can also buy fresh ground clams in Rhode Island

Cooking

Cook the above ingredients in the following order.

1. In a heavy sauce pan, saute the onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent If you use celery, saute it at this time with the onions

2. put potatoes in the saucepan with the onions and the oil

3. pour in the 2 of the bottles of clam juice plus filtered water to cover the potatoes

4. bring to a boil and then turn down heat to low boil until potatoes are barely cooked

5. add the clams with all of their juices

6. add the third bottle of clam juice if more broth is desired
7. add seasonings to taste

8. add the chopped arugula and carrots for color

9. cook on low heat a minute or two longer until clams are warmed through

Tarting Up

To tart up this simple chowder, add the following in order

1. 8 medium-sized shrimp

2. 6 oz firm fish, cut into bite-sized chunks

Cook for two minutes on low heat. Then add

 2-4 oz heavy cream, to taste

Cook for one minute on low heat. Then add

1/8 cup dry sherry, or to taste

Heat to hot but not boiling.

Serve with crusty garlic bread and/or crackers on a wet, windy day, or a fine sunny day, indoors, outdoors, at the seashore, or on a mountain. You can keep the chowder over night and reheat, but better to eat it within 24 hours.

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