Thursday, July 14, 2016

MENU's Recipe of the week - Clam chowder

This is an old winter favourite and we usually make it with tinned clams found in the supermarket. But this time Lynne found some raw frozen clams at a seafood wholesaler and wanted to try it using them.  If you want to make this super rich, you can add a cup of cream. We find this to be rich enough.
2 tins of clams - 4 rashers of fatty bacon, cut into small lardons - 1 T olive oil - 20 g butter - 1 large onion, finely chopped  - 1 stick of celery, finely chopped - sea salt - 2 or 3 large potatoes, cut into 1 cm dice - 1.5 Tblspns flour - 1 cup of clam juice - 1.5 cups full cream milk - 1 T fresh thyme leaves - 1 fresh bay leaf -  Tabasco sauce - Worcester sauce - freshly ground black pepper - 1 cup water - dry sherry
Drain the clams but KEEP the liquid aside.  Mince the clams if they are large. Fry the bacon in the oil until it is brown and crisp. Add the butter and the onions to the pot and season with some salt. Fry for five minutes until the onions are transparent. Add the celery and fry for  another five minutes. Add the potato and fry together for 5 minutes. Then add the flour and stir well to incorporate it. Add the clam juice and then quickly stir in the milk. Make sure there are no lumps and everything is incorporated. It will start to thicken. Add the thyme, the bay leaf and  a good grinding of black pepper. Add more milk or any remaining clam juice if it gets too thick or the water if it is too creamy. Cook until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the clams. Season with salt and more pepper if necessary and add a dash of Tabasco and Worcester sauce to your taste.  Serve with crisp bread rolls. You can also add a dash of sherry to the pot just before serving. Should serve 4

If you can get fresh or frozen clams you will need 1 kilo or 900g of them. Put into a deep pan with a cup of water, 2 T dry white wine and bring quickly to the boil, covered. Steam for  7 to 8 minutes then remove any that have opened properly and set aside. Put the lid on and give the rest another 2 to 3 minutes. Discard any that do not open. Keep the liquid from the pot and strain it well to remove sand and any shell fragments. A coffee filter works well. When the open clams have cooled, remove them from their shells and mince them. Then use them and the liquid as instructed above
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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