Tuesday, March 25, 2008

chowder, she wrote

Up in an idyllic little town on the coast of Maine, a lot of people get murdered. It's not Jessica's fault, even when it's death by New England Clam Chowder. Her recipe does not include Barbitals, just lots of clams and potatoes and cream and deliciousness. In Cabot Cove, Jessica is famous for her chowder, seafood bakes, and all things coastal and New England-y. Dr. Hazlitt can't get enough of her cooking (wink wink). So in honor of a truly great mystery show that I've been watching nonstop lately, this is my version of Mrs. Fletcher's Barbital-Free New England Clam Chowder.

It should have been thicker. Perhaps I didn't need two bottles of clam juice. Clam juice, doesn't that sound appetizing?

My ratio of half-and-half to milk was perhaps a little off, but the milk I used was creamy, delicious whole milk, and I thought it would be thick enough.

Despite the slightly runnier consistency, this was still wonderfully delicious and, of course, quite sassy. I think Jessica Fletcher would be very proud of it. I would never invite her over to dinner, though, I value my life. Recipe after the jump:

6 slices smoky bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 pound red potatoes, diced
2 8-ounce bottles clam juice
1 bay leaf
1 pound chopped sea clams, frozen or fresh (or 2 6-ounce cans)
2 cups half and half
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large, heavy stockpot or dutch oven, crisp the bacon over medium heat. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Saute the onion and celery in the rendered bacon fat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the vegetables and stir to coat evenly. Add the potatoes, bacon, and clam juice. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the chopped clams, half and half, milk, and thyme leaves and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes until it thickens and bubbles. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with oyster crackers or crusty bread.


Leah said...

Chowder, she wrote! You are too funny, Faycat. I LOLed out loud (as Monk would say).

BeadBag said...

This soup looks a wonderful winter soup. I live in the UK and bought a Cape Cod (Season to Taste)cookery book there some years ago - I love it as it has so many super fishy recipes.
Kindest regards,
Shirley I.