New England Clam Chowder

Fair warning: I am all over the place rambling on this one…good luck!

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

Pet Peeve: a frequent subject of complaint.  Thank you Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary (or as I like to call it: my vocab saver!)  It’s not that I have bad grammar or spelling, it is simply that bad grammar or spelling is a pet peeve of mine.   Amongst others…you will see this post unravel quickly…just watch.

Bear with me here. (pretty please)  I knew how to spell pet peeve.  I wanted to give you the dictionary’s exact definition.  BUT while reading the definition I saw people’s comments on said definition (here), it seems that you cannot have many pet peeves.  (I, of course, have a plethora of them!)  Because as per the definition “pet” would imply the one and only, “the teacher’s pet” if you will.  Therefore one could only have ONE particular pet peeve…not many…but as one commenter said what if I have many favorite “pets”?…have I lost you, yet?

Bottom line, here is where I was going (before I rambled on about lord knows what!).  One of my pet peeves (and YES I have many!) is people reviewing recipes but stating: “I changed this and/or that about this recipe and it was horrible.  I am giving it only 1 star”  WHAT?!!!  You cannot judge or rate a recipe if you have changed it.  Come on!  Now if you tell me that you followed the exact recipe and it was a total flop then OK, I get it.  Not if you were freelancing!  (Getting off my soap box, thank you for indulging me…again)


Isn't that just a gorgeous chowder?  The smell alone is simply amazing!

Isn’t that just a gorgeous chowder? The smell alone is simply amazing!

My husband had this soup at our friends house last weekend (while I was living it up with Janine in Chicago) and he hasn’t stop talking about it.  Truth be told my friend Chris is a fantastic cook & baker, therefore I trust her to give us only the best.  I texted her until she gave in and sent me the recipe!  Hurray for us…happy Mr. Man 🙂  By the way, the reviews were fantastic not only from Matt but on-line as well (unless they changed it!!!)

Recipe was in Bon Appetit Magazine Nov. 2000 but originally from:


3 8-ounce bottles clam juice

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

3 slices bacon, finely chopped

2 cups chopped onions

1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves (about 2 large stalks)

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 6 1/2-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, juices reserved

1 1/4 cups half and half

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

How to:

Bring bottled clam juice and potatoes to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. (DO NOT DRAIN POTATOES)

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, half and half and hot pepper sauce. Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Enough Chowder for about 8...although serving it to 4 and having leftovers...heavenly!

Enough Chowder for about 8…although serving it to 4 and having leftovers…heavenly!

Note: Chris says that she likes to use frozen clams instead of canned but they are not readily available so I opted for cans.

My review: simply amazing, and so easy to make.  Perfect for company since you can prepare it ahead of time and easily re-heat the whole thing.

It’s a good thing the recipe is short because I couldn’t stop talking (or rambling) making this post somewhat painfully long…I am sorry!

very difficult to take pictures when all you want to do is eat it! :)

very difficult to take pictures when all you want to do is eat it! 🙂

Printer Friendly: New England Clam Chowder

Peace and I never was the teacher’s pet (trust me! NEVER!)



4 thoughts on “New England Clam Chowder

  1. Isabelle, think of it this way… ultimately the “reviewer” is giving that rating to their OWN cooking, lol! (But I hear ya, cuz it affects YOU overall.) Soooo glad you posted this recipe — I’m not a clam chowder fan (gasp!) but my hubby loves the stuff. I can never tell if a batch is “good” before I serve it to him (simply can’t do the “taste test”…) but I trust YOUR recipes and recommendations and KNOW he’ll love it! The only change I’ll make (tee hee) is to make half a batch — that’s a lotta chowdah! 🙂

  2. I was raised on this… this, Manhattan and Rhode Island (clear) chowders. I have shucked 100’s of nasty quahogs, telling myself that it would all be worth in it the end. I grew up in RI & spent the last 10 years in ME…now I’m in your country, landlocked in Alberta without a chowerhouse in sight. I will definitely try this version, with no substitutes.

  3. Pingback: Soups Round Up | Isabelle at home

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