July 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Today is the 1st of July, and I was in the mood for chowder.  The fact that I’m wearing corduroys and a sweater made it an even more perfect chowder day.  It was a fabulous, fortifying lunch – far superior to the Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza I had for lunch yesterday. I imagined that I was on a wind-swept, craggy beach in coastal Maine the entire time I slurped my soup.

The chowder was based on one in Alice Water’s The Art Simple Food.  Her recipe says it serves 4, but I think it’s more like 2 (c’mon, Alice.  Don’t be skimpy.) It is simple food, indeed.  Here’s how:

I cooked the chowder in an enamel casserole, but a small stock pot would work just fine.  Steam 2 pounds of clams in a smidge of water (about 1/3 C).  Once they open, shell the clams.  Strain the liquor and set it aside.  Cube a small potato and boil it until it’s nearly done, then set the taters to the side.  Dice three slices of bacon, and cook them in melted butter until they’re nearly crisp (now you’re talking, Alice).  Set the bacon to the side, and sautee the leaves from a sprig of thyme, 1/2 an onion (diced) and a celery stalk (also diced) in the buttery bacon fat.  Now things are starting to smell amazing.  Put the potatoes and bacon back in the pot, and add the shelled clams with their liquor.  Heat to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer for a couple of minutes, until the potatoes are soft.  Add 3/4 C milk and 1/3 C cream, then heat through gently.


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