Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Manhattan Clam Chowder

     A snowy day deserves some soup, don't you think? Even though this snow was considerably less than what was originally expected it tacked an extra day onto my three day weekend, giving me some extra time to get some things done that I've been meaning to do for ages. (Like catch up on paperwork and update this poor neglected space.) The 4WD truck is broken too so I may be here a while.

     This bowl is full of colorful vegetables that are so good for you. It's loaded with clams, and has just a tiny bit of bacon in it that you could leave out if you want to, but please don't. The depth of flavor it adds is phenomenal. A big bonus? It comes together quickly and doesn't take hours to cook. That gives you plenty of time to go out and build that snowman, just in case you're so inclined. 

Manhattan Clam Chowder
adapted from this Better Homes and Gardens recipe
3 cans (6.5 oz) minced clams
8 oz. bottled clam juice (1 cup chicken broth will do in a pinch)
2 slices of bacon -I used 4 slices of pre-cooked bacon (the kind you can buy already cooked) and some avocado oil- see note*
1 cup diced celery
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1/4 cup)
1 med. onion, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
2 cups cubed potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper (I just gave it a couple of healthy grinds)
1 dried hot red pepper (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz) undrained

  • Drain canned clams, reserving juice; set clams aside. Add enough water to reserved clam juice to equal 2 cups. Set juice aside.
  • Dice bacon. Saute over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon pieces and drain. Reserve 2 Tablespoons drippings in pan. *Note: I diced 4 slices of pre-cooked bacon and then gently sauteed it in a couple of Tablespoons of avocado oil (olive would be good too). I may be disillusioned, but I think it might be just a little bit better for me than straight bacon grease.
  • In the reserved bacon grease or oil, saute celery, carrot, onion and red pepper until tender.
  • Add the reserved 2 cups of clam juice and the 8 oz. clam juice or broth. Stir in potatoes, thyme, cayenne and black pepper. Add the whole dried pepper if desired. (It gives a little zing.)
  • Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about ten minutes until vegetables are tender. 
  • Stir in reserved clams, bacon and undrained tomatoes. Return to a boil, reduce heat and cook 2 to 3 minutes more until heated through. Remove the hot pepper before serving. Enjoy!

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