Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lou’s Manhattan Clam Chowder
Serves 8
Coming from New York and living on Long Island in a time when fresh clams were very inexpensive, dad grew up eating various versions of Manhattan Clam Chowder made from the fresh clams that were abundant in his youth.  This version was developed over the years to compensate in flavour for the years of living in places were fresh clams were either unavailable or very pricey (since you buy them by the pound and pay, primarily, for shell) and he had to use canned clams.  The cayenne pepper successfully compensates for that  loss  of fresh clam flavour and adds a spicy sub-tone to this chowder.


4 ounces of salt pork or bacon, cut into small pieces or about 2 healthy tablespoons of bacon grease
1 cup minced yellow onion
2 tablespoons of finely chopped flat-leafed parsley
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups minced celery
1 cup minced green pepper
3 (16 ounce ) cans chopped clams (juice reserved)
16 ounces of clam juice (juice reserved from the chopped clams supplemented by bottled clam juice to make 16 ounces) 
1(1-pound, 12-ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes, chopped (liquid reserved)
2 6 ounce can of tomato paste
4 cups diced red potatoes (cleaned, skin on)
8 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

1.  In a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat cook salt pork/bacon until it begins to render fat (or melt the bacon grease).  Add onions,  parsley, and black pepper.  Cook, stirring,  for about 5 minutes until onions soften (do not allow to brown).
2.  Add Bay leaf, minced celery and green pepper.  Cook, stirring, for 15 minutes.
3.  Add 8 ounces of the clam juice, reserved liquid from the tomatoes, the diced potatoes, and the water.  Simmer for 25 minutes after the mixture begins to simmer.
4.  Add the chopped clams, tomatoes, remaining 8 ounces of clam juice; stir in the tomato paste and the cayenne pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
5.  Add the butter, stir to combine butter into the chowder.  At this point taste and correct seasoning (salt, pepper, cayenne) to taste.
6.   Continue to simmer for about 2 hours, uncovered, to allow the liquid to reduce and change what would be a soup to chowder.  Serve with crust bread and/or oyster crackers.
Next Week's Posting: Zuppa Pomodoro  di Toscano(Tuscan Tomato Soup)


Raina said...

Hi. Pleasure to meet a veteran who served our country (thank you)and you cook too! Your wife is pretty lucky. I wish my husband would cook. I am an Italian American also. This soup looks fantastic. Will put it on my have-to-try list. Saw you on Tasty Kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

CINDY and BUDDY said...

My husband is a veteran and being retired he now prospects for gold and I help him with his website about gold at and your recipes are look wonderful to try!

calou said...

Raina & Cindy and Buddy -

Thanks for the input, glad you like the chowder . . . it's one of the recipes I'm particularly proud. Always good to hear a kind word from someone who still respects our vets and from/about another vet. When to the website . . . it's neat and it's funny I've got a metal detector and a friend of mine and I were just talking about doing some prospecting here in Utah I know I can get some hints from your hubby's website.

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