[We've moved this thread from the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/820906 -- The Chowhound Team]
If anyone is interested, I lived in the Boston burbs for a while and I have a home made clam chowda recipe that I created years ago... Everyone begs me to make it, and it freezes great. Im on my phone so I don't have it on me, but I'll be happy to share it with anyone who would like it. I still buy Snows minced clams for my chowda but I gave up on thier canned chowder as soon as I tried one can after they sold it and thought it went rancid. I couldn't believe the shocking quality drop but this was one of my standby meals for YEARS when I wasnt up to cooking or was exhausted from work.
Anyway, hit meme up of yould like my recipe. It takes about forty minutes from start to finish, it's one pot and it's AMAZING.
Edit: Good news... I found it on my phone;
Ingredients: 1) One stick of unsalted butter2) A heaping scoop of Skillet Bacon Spread (http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO... Six strips of bacon, cooked to a light crisp (NOT burned, you should be able to bend the bacon without it snapping) Chop the bacon up into small pieces. 3) 3/4 stick of margerine4) Five good sized cleaned stalks of celery, leaves and ends removed. Chop to small (but not TOO small - it does shrink up) pieces.5) 1/2 a large onion (nothing sweet - white or yellow is fine)6) 1 can of corn7) 6-8 LARGE red potatoes (or a mixture of white and red), washed and skinned
8) 8 heaping tablespoons of white table flour9) 1/2 Package Knorr Vegetable Soup mix 10) 1/2 Package Bear Creek Potato Leek Soup mix11) 2 cans of Cream of Shrimp Soup (Campbells or Store Brand)12) 1 box of Chicken Stock or Chicken Broth - preferably WITH MSG (it really does taste so much better in the soup)ORIf you don't have a box of chicken stock, make a quart of chicken broth following the directions on the side of the bouillon cube container. 13) 1 tablespoon of sea salt (I put it in a plastic bag and crush more fine with a coffee mug)14) 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder (NOT SALT)15) 1/2 teaspoon of spinach and herb seasoning/dip mix by Tastefully Simple (isn't required, but is preferred)16) A heaping teaspoon of dried parsley17) A tablespoon of dried onion flake18) 1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning19) 8-14 cans of minced or chopped clams packed in clam juice/water - you use the cans PLUS the juice (I prefer the yellow cans by Snows) - a mixture of both kinds is best, with 3/4 being minced, and only a few being chopped. I wouldn't use fresh - if you do, you risk sand and grit, plus large pieces. If you MUST use fresh, rinse thoroughly, process in a food processor to make them smaller and more consistent. If you use fresh, you must buy two bottles of clam juice to add. (http://www.snows.com:8080/images/Prod...) A small bottle of clam juice is optional. I usually add it, but it's not always necessary. If you use closer to 8 cans of clam, I'd use it - if you use 12-14, you won't need it)21) A Quart of Heavy Cream (not heavy whipping cream, JUST heavy cream)22) 1/2 cup white wine (table wine) - this is optional23) A gallon of whole milk - you won't use it all, but you should have a fresh gallon since the amount will vary
Okay. So first, choose your largest non-stick pot. I do mean LARGE. Forget about spaghetti pot, this pot should be at LEAST 12 quarts. It's best to use non-stick because otherwise, you literally need one person to be the designated stirrer - if you let shit get burnt on the bottom of the pot it will either ruin your soup or leave lumps of gross stuff in your soap when you scrape it off. Either way, don't do it.
If you don't have the skillet bacon spread, which is $9 online and should ALWAYS be in your fridge, first things first, prepare your bacon. You'll need it early on, so you may as well fix it first... chop it up into small dime-sized pieces and set it aside.
Put your large non-stick pot on the stove, unwrap the butter and margarine and put the pot on the burner on medium heat. Once the butter and margarine are melted - gently stir them together. Mix in the bacon spread or bacon.
Saute together in the butter/bacon mixture the celery and onion on medium. Saute until most pieces are semi-transparent. Turn down heat to med-low and add flour and stir until the entire mixture is like a paste. Add both half packages of soup mix (be sure to pour the mix into a bowl and then scoop half into the "paste" - if you pour it straight from the package you will not get an even mix of the soup mix, you'll only get the light ingredients that are on top.) Add the sea salt, garlic powder, spinach/herb dip (If you have it), parsley, onion flake and old bay seasoning.
Now it's time to turn this icky paste into CHOWDA! Add your chicken stock or broth first (you can also use veggie broth or even "Seafood stock" if you don't eat any meat. I was vegetarian for years and this works just fine but it does alter the taste of the final soup - not for the better or worse, just somewhat different. Stir the paste into the broth using a whisk - it helps disolve the flour and all the powdered soup mix and dried seasonings into the broth. Stir for about a minute or until everything seems to be liquified - make sure there arent any lumps before moving on to the next step - this is why I recommend a whisk - it will help break apart all those clumps and blend everything nicely into the quart of broth. Next - empty the two cans of cream of shrimp soup mix into the broth and continue to stir with the whisk. Fill both cans up with whole milk, and over the pot, use a spoon to stir the milk inside the can which will help remove the remnants of the thick condensed cream of shrimp soup in the can - pour both cans of milk into the soup pot too. Keep stirring gently with the whisk. If you are going to use white wine, add this now. Next, add all your cans of minced and chopped clam - including the water/clam juice they are packed in. This is why I recommend snows brand (which is carried almost everywhere)- they are consistent in size (not big, but not so small they disappear, and they are packed in tasty clam juice which adds a ton of flavor to your clam chowda. If you don't have Snows, add the clam juice now too. Turn the liquid back up to medium now. You'll leave it on medium from now until the soup is done. Next, add the quart of heavy cream. Continue to stir the soup occasionally to bring the ingredients up off the bottom of the pot. Last but not least, add 1/2 to 2/3 of your gallon of milk to the pot. This will depend on the size of your pot and how thick you like your soup (it will thicken as it simmers - the less milk you use, the thicker it will be). Last but not least, add your potatoes, all chopped into bite sized pieces. Simmer for 30-40 minutes on medium (or medium-low depending on if you're using electric or gas, you don't want the soup boiling at this point) - when the soup is done cooking and about ready to serve, add the one can of corn and stir well. Since canned corn is already cooked and ready to go - I find it's best not to cook the corn for a long period in the soup because it can make the kernals mushy. We all like it best when the corn is added as an afterthought when the soup is done cooking. Depending on your love of corn (if you like the concept of corn-chowder - you might add a second can of corn - we've done this a few times depending on who I'm making the soup for). Usually, I find that one can is just the right amount but your taste may differ.
Now, as a final note, you may have noticed I didn't add pepper to my soup. Most people do, but I'm personally allergic to it. I'm sure that the soup mixes I added probably have a minescule amount of pepper (which isnt enough to trigger my allergy) - and no one in my house complains that the soup is lacking anything, so we don't add any - but of course if you like your food a little spiced-up, you can add a little red-pepper flake or some black pepper to your soup. My house is firmly split on weather crackers belong in chowda - so you add crackers at serving if you live in a house where that kind of thing is normal. :-)
(This recipe was created during a Hurricane in 2005 while I was living in Florida. I cooked the first pot with my friend who turned out to be allergic to shellfish. She said the soup was so good -it was worth the trip to the hospital (Her parents had always told her she didn't LIKE seafood. She had no clue she was allergic until an hour or so after she ate it and went home. Poor kid). LOL, for the record, I don't recommend eating this if you're allergic to shellfish! DUH!)
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