Before I came to the Pacific Northwest, I wouldn’t touch Clam Chowder. But, on a short cruise to Victoria, B.C. I took a taste (Ivar's) from my son’s bowl…and couldn’t believe how good it was!
Now that I’ve mastered making it, I feel like a true Northwesterner! I’ve made a few versions, even getting fresh clams at one time, but the one my husband likes best is actually pretty easy. I love how it incorporates four kinds of vegetables. I serve it with fish and fresh bread. Here is the recipe:
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
3 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams
1 cup minced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups cubed potatoes
*¾ cup butter (I use Smart Balance 50/50)
*¾ cup flour
1 quart half-and-half cream (milk can be used if this is too rich for you)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons salt (I find this to be a little too much)
ground black pepper to taste
Drain juice from clams into a large skillet over the onions, celery, carrots and potatoes. Add water to cover, and cook over medium heat until tender.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Stir in vegetables and clam juice. Heat through, but do not boil.
Stir in clams just before serving. If they cook too much they get tough. When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
* I use ½ cup each of butter and flour, as I find it’s too thick otherwise. The important thing is to use the same amount of fat and flour when making a thickening agent. So, if you cut down the flour, be sure to cut down the butter to the same measurement.