I know we are here to talk food. Yummy food. And share memories of a simple time with simple pleasures. The world is a scary place right now. Let us pray for the people of Ukraine and the whole of the world. In Christ name, pray.
Did you know that Clam Chowder actually has not one but two National Days? It all depends upon which calendar you follow. January 21 is National New England Clam Chowder Day. February 25 is National Clam Chowder Day. The difference? We could celebrate with a bowl of Manhattan Style Chowder.
Yeah, not. No offence to Manhattan Chowder fans everywhere. Let today be your day. That said, in our house there is only one kind of Clam Chowder on the planet, and that’s the rich creamy goodness of New England Style. I suppose had the powers that be said today is Manhattan Clam Chowder Day, that would be different. I’d wish you well and share something else entirely. But Clam Chowder leaves the door open, doesn’t it?
Besides, January 21 is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Altagracia. So as far as I’m concerned, then second Clam Clowder Day has given us a second opportunity to enjoy all that goodness only a bowl of soup can give. Perfect for an old school Catholic.
Clam Chowder in an Instant
4 medium Red or Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 medium Yellow Onion
2 Celery Ribs
2 medium Carrots
4 Garlic Cloves
2 (6.5 oz) cans Minced Clams
1 (6.5 oz) cans Smoked Clams
1 (8 oz) bottle Clam Juice
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 strips Bacon
2 tablespoons Flour
1 cup Heavy Cream
Peel and cut potatoes into 1/2-inch bite-size cubes. Set aside. Peel and chop onion, set aside. Clean and dice celery, set aside. Peel and dice carrots, set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic.
Place prepared vegetables into the insert of the pressure cooker. Drain clams, reserving the juice. If smoked clams are large, chop or mince as desired. Set drained clams aside in a small bowl until needed.
In another bowl, mix reserved clam juice with bottled clam juice and chicken stock. Pour liquid over potato mixture. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
Lock lid in place, make sure pressure-release valve is closed. Select PRESSURE-COOK; HIGH for 15 minutes. Once time is up, quick-release pressure in the pot.
While the potato mixture cooks, chop bacon and fry crisp in a skillet over medium heat. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to drain. Reserve bacon drippings for another purpose, keep refrigerated.
Mix flour and cream together until smooth. Set aside. Remove lid from pot. Select Sauté, low heat for 8 minutes. Stir flour mixture into the soup. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Stir in the minced clams; heat through.
To serve; ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with bacon, fresh thyme and crackers as desired.