My family and I ate dinner at Brooklyn Crab last weekend, and my wife ordered a really good Manhattan clam chowder (we generally prefer New England). I was inspired to re-create it this weekend, using a late-summer bumper crop from the Farmers Market. I used the Dean & Deluca classic recipe as a starting point, but adjusted to the ingredients available and my own style. I found by adding wine to the clams, it brough a nice sweetness to the reserve liquid. Blending part of the vegetable mixture added some welcome texture to the broth. The family thought it turned out pretty well, and I thought it was worth sharing.
This is the first time I've been inspired to post here, but thanks much to Food 52 for a lot of great ideas and recipes over the past couple of years. I'd appreciate any feedback. —JeffD
Cherrystone clams, scrubbed
Yellow pepper, 1/4 inch dice
Celery rib, 1/4 inch dice
shallot, large, 1/4 inch dice
russet potato, medium, 1/2 inch dice
bacon strips, 1/2 inch dice
ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
garlic clove, finely grated
oregano, finely chopped
In This Recipe
Scrub clams thoroughly in cold water to remove as much sand as possible.
Combine clams, wine, clam juice and water in a deep skillet with lid. Bring to a rapid boil, covered, shaking periodically, until clams are fully opened. Remove clams from liquid with slotted spoon and let cool.
Simmer liquid over medium high heat and reduce by half. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.
Wipe skillet with damp cloth to remove any remaining sand. Add bacon and butter over medium high heat, cook for 10 minutes or until mildly crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon , drain on paper towels and reserve.
Pour off all but 2 Tbsp of fat from pan, return to medium heat, add shallots, peppers and celery. Sauté until soft, not brown, about 10 minutes.
Add potatoes to skillet , stir to coat, and cook for an additional 10 minutes until soft. Then combine tomatoes and garlic with other ingredients in the skillet. Toss to coat and soften, 1 minute.
Transfer vegetable mixture to 3 Qt. sauce pan. Add reserve clam liquid, careful not to add any remaining grit accumulated in the bottom of the bowl, bring to medium simmer. Using an immersable blender, blend vegetable mixture, leaving some chunks. (A more pot-intensive solution is to remove ½ of the vegetable mixture and blend until smooth with a hand mixer or blender)
Remove clams from shells and roughly chop. Add clams and reserved bacon to the soup, along with oregano. Let cook for 3-4 minutes to heat through. Serve accompanied by good bread.