What does any good New Englander do while cheering on their Pats? Make some chowdah of course.
Yesterday, I picked up some fresh clams and other seafood selections at Lombardi’s. I spent hours the internet scouring for the perfect recipe, but my Facebook newsfeed revealed that my friend Andrea’s husband James just cooked up some.
On a break during the third quarter of the Cowboys/Patriots game, I gave James a ring and scribbled down these notes, which has been used as the basis for the recipe below.
Now, it’s 9 pm and I’m enjoying a bowl and reflecting upon the Patriots’ fourth win this season. What an awesome Sunday!
New England Chowdah
- 1 12 oz package of salt pork
- 1 large chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 cubed Idaho potatoes
- 2 quarts fish stock – (You can buy or make)
- 4 tbsp softened butter
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour
- A dozen or two small neck clams (optional)
- 1 51 oz. can of minced clams
- 1 quart half and half
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper
First, if you are using fresh clams. Rinse and clean the clams and put in a bowl of water in your fridge for 30 minutes to release any grit.
Render the salt pork over medium-low in your large pot.
Put the salt pork to the side so it cools. Add the chopped onion to the pork fat and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and softened.
Add rue of butter and flour. Mix with onions and garlic. Increase heat and add stock and potatoes.
Bring to boil and then reduce heat. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
If you are using fresh clams, strain them and put them in a covered pot of water on medium to steam for 10 minutes.
Add your canned clams and your fresh clams with two ladles of the juice made by the steamed clams (if applicable). Pour your quart of half and half into the mixture. Stir.
Season with alt, pepper, parsley, chopped salt pork (only the strips with meat) and chipotle pepper. Allow this to cook for at least 15 minutes.
Test the consistency by tasting.
If needed, make additional rue to thicken and season more to your liking. Enjoy!
Keep in mind the pieces of fat can be rendered once more if desired for another recipe. I used them to cook some scallops.
Here’s the original recipe:
1 lb thick sliced bacon
3 lbs red potatoes cut into cubes
1 qt half and half
1 tbsp minced garlic (I used the Spice World minced garlic)
2 large white onions chopped
1 51 oz can of chopped clams in broth (in Orlando Lombardi’s Sea Food has these)
2 tbsp all purpose flour
coarse black pepper
step one: Cook bacon to render oil (I cook mine in the oven on a cookie sheet at
400 degrees for 25 minutes) save the bacon grease
step two: Cook the onions with three table spoons of the bacon grease and the minced garlic stirring
occasionally (I use the pot that I use for my chowder). Cook until the
onions are soft
step three: Add the flour and cook on high heat for three minutes stirring frequently
step four: Add all of the broth from the can of chopped clams and the potatoes. Add
water as needed to completely cover the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes
are soft. I start it off on high heat until it boil then cut it to medium-low
heat. Cut the heat down as needed until you have a slight boil
step five: Add clams and cook for 10 minutes
step six: Add half and half and some bacon. (I usually chop half of the bacon I cooked
into square chunks and add it.) Cook for 10 mins on low heat
step seven: Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!