Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today is National Clam Chowder Day

Today is National Clam Chowder Day! I have to admit that I am seriously contemplating ordering a gallon of New England Clam Chowder from Legal Sea Foods. Even my daughter visited Boston recently and within seconds of enjoying Clam Chowder at Legal Sea Foods she called me on her cell phone, somehow had a Boston accent and said that the "Clam Chah-dah" was "wicked awesome"!

(image from

So, not all of us have a Legal Sea Foods to readily visit, or cannot order it by the gallon (okay, or by the quart!) and want to make our own Clam Chowder. Here are TWO recipes for Clam Chowder from Epicurious, one traditional New England Clam Chowder, and one not-so-traditional Santa Fe Clam Chowder. Not sure I can decide...might have to make both! Enjoy!

New England Clam Chowder
Bon Appétit November 2000

Yield: Makes 8 (first-course) or 4 (main-course) servings

"I've been to Boston many times over the past few years. During those trips, my mission was to find the best clam chowder in the city," writes Debra Doyle of Avon Lake, Ohio. "I think I found it at Skipjack's restaurant. Theirs is rich and creamy, with just the right amount of potatoes."
Skipjack's calls for shucked fresh clams in their chowder; we've substituted canned clams, which are easier to use. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.


3 8-ounce bottles clam juice
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves (about 2 large stalks)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 6 1/2-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, juices reserved
1 1/4 cups half and half
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


Bring bottled clam juice and potatoes to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10minutes. Remove from heat.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, half and half and hot pepper sauce. Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before serving.)

(image from, photo by: David Bishop)

Santa Fe Clam Chowder
Bon Appétit March 2002

Yeld: Makes 6 servings

Green chilies, cumin, and chorizo flavor this spicy southwestern rendition of the eastern seaboard classic.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces Spanish chorizo * or andouille sausage, cut into 1/3-inch dice
12 ounces white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/3 cup canned diced green chilies
1 large jalapeño chili, seeded, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 cup frozen white corn kernels
3 8-ounce bottles clam juice

24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add chorizo; sauté until fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add next 6 ingredients; sauté until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in oregano and cumin, then tomatoes, corn, and bottled clam juice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 12 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cool, then cover and chill. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Add clams to mixture in pot; cover and cook over medium-high heat until clams open and potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes (discard any clams that do not open). Mix in 4 tablespoons cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide clams among 6 shallow soup bowls. Ladle chowder over. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve.

* A smoked-pork link sausage flavored with garlic and spices, but milder than Mexican chorizo. Spanish chorizo is available at Spanish markets and specialty foods stores.

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