What is a trip to Provincetown without having a steaming bowl of creamy Clam Chowder? On a recent morning we rolled out of bed at the crack of dawn and hit the tidal flats near the breakwater in Provincetown Harbor to go clamming (see highlights from our excursion in the video).
This makes for a great way to impress guests this holiday season and bring a little Cape Cod to your home!
NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER
YIELD: 15 10oz. portions
50 Chowder Clams
4 Red Skin Potatoes, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 lbs Smoked Bacon, diced
8 oz Unsalted Butter (2 sticks)
2 Medium Onions, diced
4 Celery Ribs, diced
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Fresh Thyme
1 qt Heavy Cream
1 qt Clam Juice (see below)
1 qt Whole Milk
Salt to taste
FRESH CLAMS: rinse clams under cold water and put into a large stock pot with a 1/2 cup of water (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pot) cover and cook over medium high heat until clams have opened up. You may have to stir the clams toward the end of cooking to encourage the lower clams to open. Remove clams to a bowl (discard any clams that have not opened) and pour remaining liquid into a large pitcher and set aside.
Remove clam bellies from shells, discard shells. Pour cooking liquid (clam juice) into a quart container slowly making sure to discard any sediment that settles to the bottom, you can add water to reach the full quarts if it is short.
CANNED CLAMS: reserve liquid, you may need to purchase additional clam juice to get to the full quart needed for this recipe.
In small pot start diced potatoes in cold water and boil until tender.
In a large stock pot slowly render diced bacon over medium heat until crispy. Then add butter to pot and melt. Next add onions, celery, garlic and thyme to pot and cook until tender. Sprinkle flour over bacon vegetable mix and stir for one minute to create a roux. Slowly stir in clam juice, then heavy cream.
Rough chop clam bellies and add to the pot along with cooked potatoes, add in whole milk until desired consistency is reached and season with pepper and salt if needed.