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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Clam (or bacon!) Chowder

My mom used to make this all the time when I was a kid. Then one day I started refusing any seafood, so she would dish me out a bowl before she put the clams in. Then one day she had the quite brilliant idea of replacing the clams with bacon! Genius!

1 C onion, finely chopped
1 C celery, finely diced
2 C potatoes, finely diced
2 Cans (6 1/2 ounces each) clams, undrained (I use one package of bacon cut in small pieces and cooked until it's crisp)
3/4 C butter
3/4 C flour
1 quart half-and-half
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine vegetables in small saucepan. Drain clams; pour juice over vegetables (I just skip that part); add enough water to barely cover. Cook, covered, until tender - about 15 minutes. In meantime, melt butter in large heavy saucepan. Stir in flour until blended and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in cream until smooth and blended. Return to heat; cook and stir with wire whip until thick and smooth. Add undrained vegetables and clams (or bacon!); heat through. Season with salt and pepper (I ended up using less salt than called for because bacon is salty too).

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