Clam Chowder is a type of chowder where it contains clams, potatoes, onions and broth as its main ingredient. This dish is often served in restaurants during Fridays this is due to a custom where Catholics abstain from meat every Friday. Later on that strict abstinence was reduced only to Lenten periods but the tradition of serving clams on Friday remains.
There are different types of Clam chowders and it is defined by the extra ingredients they have, the popular ones are:
- New England clam chowder – Usually thickened with oyster crackers instead of flour, this chowder is a milk or cream-based chowder. It uses strict ingredients which are limited to clams, onions, potatoes and milk/cream; it is even illegal to put tomatoes on it and was supported by a 1939 bill in the Maine legislature.
- Manhattan clam chowder – This chowder contains clams, potatoes in a clear tomato based broth. Other ingredients can be added such as tomato chunks, carrots and beans.
- Rhode Island clam chowder – Also called as “South County Style”, this dish is also a clear broth chowder which contains quahogs, broth, potatoes, onions, and bacon. This chowder is usually served with clam cakes.
- Hatteras clam chowder – Another clear broth chowder, this dish contains bacon, potatoes, onions, and flour usually seasoned with generous amounts of black pepper and occasionally some hot pepper sauce.
- New Jersey clam chowder – A best of both words this chowder is both tomato and cream based. Its main ingredients are bacon, onion, chowder clams, potatoes, pepper, celery powder, parsley, crab spice (Old Bay), asparagus.
- Delaware clam chowder – This chowder contains cubed salt pork, salt water, potatoes, diced onions, quahogs, butter, salt and pepper. This is a very old recipe which dates back in the early 20th century.
- Minorcan clam chowder – This is the spicy hot chowder and it is tomato based.
This is one of my favourite dishes specially the milk/cream based ones I love its strong taste which is really good when combined with cream or milk. For this post we will be making some New England clam chowder with added bacon for flavour, how about you what’s your favourite type of chowder?
500g shelled clams, roughly chopped
150g bacon, chopped
1 large white onion, finely chopped
2 medium sized potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup flour
500ml clam stock (you can get this from boiling fresh clams)
freshly black pepper to taste
1. In a skillet melt 2 tbsp butter then brown the bacon
2. Add the onions into the skillet then sauté until the onions sweat.
3. Add the potatoes and stir for 2 minutes, add 1 cup of clam stock then simmer until potatoes are tender.
4. In a pot add 1/2 cup butter then add the flour, whisk until it forms into a roux. Add cream and remaining clam juice then slowly bring it to a boil. Lower to simmering heat then add the boiled potatoes and clams, simmer for 5 more minutes.
5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.