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What Makes Clam Chowder Recipes So Wonderfully Unique

Clam chowder is a combination of broth and clams. Other popular ingredients in this dish include potato, onions, and celery. Carrot strips might be added for color and bay leaves or fresh parsley does the same job.

Clam chowder is often served at restaurants on Fridays because Catholicism used to call for followers to abstain from meat on that day. The clam chowder gives them a tasty seafood option. Clams are quite easy to collect and it is believed that is why clam chowder recipes became so famous.

Different Clam Chowder Recipes

There are different clam chowder recipes, varying by the region. In New England, for example, the traditional clam chowder recipe will contain cream or milk. Clams, hardtack or flour, bacon, onion and potatoes usually make an appearance in this dish but never tomatoes. There was actually a bill passed in 1939 making it illegal to add tomatoes to clam chowder recipes!

A Manhattan clam chowder recipe features tomato and clear broth. Adding tomatoes instead of milk or cream can be traced back to the Portuguese immigrants, because tomato-based stews were popular with them. Rhode Island clam chowder recipes have clear broth, potatoes, bacon, onions, and quahogs.

Delaware clam chowder contains cubed salt pork. Minorcan clam chowder is especially piquant because it features Spanish datil chili pepper which is even spicier than the habanero.

Clam chowder recipes usually come with saltine crackers or similar crackers, although in New England sourdough bread bowls are a more popular way to serve it. Smoked salmon sometimes makes an appearance in Portland and Seattle clam chowder recipes. Although there are many ways to make clam chowder, you can see how unique and special this dish is.

About Preparing Fresh Clams to Cook

Traditional clam soup or chowder is a wonderful blend of clams, potatoes, and spices. Original versions did not have milk as so many of the clam chowder recipes do today. This is a way to enjoy clam chowder without having to deal with milk if you are lactose intolerant. This is a basic recipe that uses canned clams with it. Fresh clams can be used but the preparation time takes longer but the flavor is worth the effort.

Clams provide a large amount of iron, vitamin A, and C. It is the succulent smell of the flavors simmering together that draws people to savor the warmth after a day fishing or combing the beach for collectible shells. When you are planning on using fresh clams in your clam chowder, find those that will be the same size because they will cook better and provide a better overall texture to your chowder. Use littlenecks or cherrystone clams because they work the best.

If you do use fresh clams or clams in the shell bought from a store, make certain to follow the instructions to remove the sand and prepare them for cooking. Clams are usually added last because they tend to toughen if cooked too long. To remove the sand from freshly caught clams, rinse them several times in fresh water, changing it often. Use sea salt or kosher salt when soaking the clams. After cleaning, cook the clams in water for about ten minutes or until they open then cool. If any refuse to open, throw them away. Cut away the tough membrane and remove from shell before adding clams to chowder.

Clam Soup Chowder
Summary: Baby clams combine harmoniously with cream, potatoes, butter and more, and the result is a rich, thick and creamy chowder which you will love.
Cuisine: American
Recipe type: Chowder
Serves: 3
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 can baby clams be sure to reserve the juice (if you are using fresh clams, allow for ½ to 1 pound per person)
  • 2 finely diced medium potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Celery salt if desired
  • Pepper
  • 1½ cups heavy cream or Half & Half
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • Water
  1. Heat unsalted butter in skillet or saucepan, and then add the finely chopped onion.
  2. Sauté until tender and translucent, add flour.
  3. Use the clam juice and water to make one cup for a small batch of chowder and add to onion and butter.
  4. Allow this to cook and thicken, stirring frequently. Add potatoes and other seasonings.
  5. Let cook for about fifteen minutes on medium or medium low heat until soft and tender.
  6. Add clams and cream, then the butter and enough water to get a good consistency.
  7. Cook about ten minutes.
  8. Serve with homemade bread or fresh biscuits and fruit.
  9. Note: If you are using freshly cooked clams, add them to mixture and let heat for five minutes, stirring often.
  10. Be careful not to overcook because the clams toughen quickly.

Photo Description:

Hot fresh clam chowder, the perfect end to a day at the beach even if the weather is warm. The smell and sound of the waves and seawater combines with the clams and spices to create a filling meal. If you live away from the ocean, the smell of this clam soup chowder will bring the sound of waves and memories back quickly. Add hot thick slices of French bread and fruit for the perfect seasoned clam chowder meal. Best of all, this chowder has no milk or cream, so it is just right for someone watching his or her milk products.

How to Make Clam Chowder Like a Pro

Chowders can include fish, bacon, biscuits or crackers, onion and more. American cooks began using clams in the 1800s in their chowder recipes, because there were plenty of them in the New Colonies. After some experimentation it was discovered that by adding cream to clam chowder recipes, you could make a really delicious dish.

How to Clean and Prepare Clams

It is important to clean your clams well before making a clam chowder recipe. Clams burrow in the sand so you can expect them to contain a fair bit. Crunching down on sand or grit when eating clam chowder recipes is not a pleasant experience, as you can imagine!

Cover the clams with salt water (use 1/3 cup of salt for every gallon of water) and let them sit in it for a few hours. You can add 1/3 of a cup of cornmeal to the saltwater because this helps to expel the sand from the clams’ stomachs and it also helps to whiten the flesh of the clams.

How to Shuck Clams

Shucking clams is easier if you freeze them for twenty minutes beforehand. Let them sit for a few minutes to allow the muscles to relax (this encourages the shells to open a little).

Shuck them over a bowl so you can save the “clam liquor” which comes out. Take off the tough skin covering the neck of the clam if you want. You can grind it and add it to your clam chowder recipe afterwards. Add the clams at the end of your clam chowder recipe. Overcooking them makes them tough.


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hello there, I'm Christine. Welcome to my blog where you will find a comprehensive collection of soup recipes for every season, occasion and palate. There are hundreds of soup recipes for you to try out, those which warm you up during the cooler months, and even chilled soups and dessert soups if you want to try something new.

Try making your next soup in the pressure cooker or crockpot, or prepare it in the conventional way. Choose from classics such as potato and leek soup, beef broth, French onion soup, or chicken noodle soup, or investigate a more unusual dish, like our cabbage bean soup or one of the Chinese soup recipes.

In addition to soups, broths and chowders, I have collected stew recipes, along with low-calorie, low-carb and heart-healthy options, so you can make soups which are nutritious and good for you, as well as fresh-tasting and delicious. Here at Amazing Soup Recipes, there are recipes for every taste, many of which are really quick and easy to make.

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