The best part of spending a week up and down the Oregon coast has to be the bowls and bowls of awesome Clam Chowder. You can even go clamming and have some places make a chowder for you from your very own bucket of clams. Wow!
There is no escaping desire. Surroundings and circumstance fuel those desires. When we vacation in Wyoming, I yearn for a good steak and bison burgers for a while once we are home again. If we spend the day in San Francisco, I hunger for warm sourdough bread and sweet Dungeness crab. You get where this is going. In the Pacific Northwest, that yearning is chowder. Until I cook up a big pot of clam chowder in my own kitchen, that desire won’t subside. So help yourself to an apron, a cutting board and a knife. We’ve got a pot of awesome chowder to make. Who knows, maybe we’ll even serve it with warm sourdough bread. And a garden fresh salad. Yum!
Five-Star Thick Clam Chowder
6 oz Smoked Bacon, finely chopped
1/2 White Onion, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, chopped
1/4 cup Carrots, diced
1 tablespoon Butter
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
1/8 teaspoon Basil
1/8 teaspoon Oregano
1 1/2 cups Clam Juice
26 oz canned Clams, chopped
1 1/2 pints Heavy Cream
1/8 teaspoon White Pepper
3 Red Potatoes, peeled and diced
5 drops Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Flour
1 cup cold Water
Parsley, flat leaf chopped for garnish
Place bacon in the freezer and let it firm up. Frozen bacon will be easier to chop. Once frozen, dice into small pieces.
While bacon strips are in the freezer, chop onion, celery and carrots. Set aside until ready to use.
In an 8 quart pot, melt butter and sauté bacon until cooked, but not brown. Season with Thyme, basil and oregano.
Add onions and celery, and sauté until tender and translucent.
Add clam juice, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and potatoes.
Cook approximately 13 minutes to soften potatoes and incorporate flavors. While the flavors develop, chop clams and set aside.
When ready add heavy cream, chopped clams and carrots. Bring to boil.
Lower heat and let simmer until all the vegetables are tender and cooked through
Mix flour with water in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well to create a slurry. Add a little of the slurry at a time until chowder has reached desired consistency.
Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed.
Garnish each bowl with a little chopped parsley. If desired serve with warm sourdough bread and an arugula salad.