Recipe of the Month: New England Clam Chowder


Celebrate New England Clam Chowder Day with this month’s recipe, a sure-fire cure for the cold days of January.

Chopped clams, aromatic vegetables and creamy potatoes blended with low-fat milk and just a half cup of cream gives this chunky New England-style clam chowder plenty of rich body. Serve with oyster crackers and a tossed salad to make it a meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Canola Oil
  • 4 slices Bacon, Chopped
  • 1 medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery, Chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Thyme, Fresh, Chopped (or 1 teaspoon Dried)
  • 1 medium Red Potato, Diced
  • 8 ounces (1 bottle) Clam Juice*
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3 cups Milk, Low-Fat
  • 1/2 cup Cream, Heavy
  • 1/3 cup Flour, All-purpose
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 12 ounces Clam Strips, Fresh, Chopped (or three 6-ounce cans of Chopped Baby Clams, Rinsed)
  • 2 Scallions, Thinly Sliced

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until crispy. Transfer half of the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Add onion, celery and thyme to the pan; cook about 2 minutes, stirring until ingredients begin to soften. Add potatoes, clam juice and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.

Whisk milk, cream, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add mixture to the saucepan and return to a simmer, stirring over medium-high heat. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Add clams and cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams are just cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Discard bay leaf.

Ladle into bowls and top each serving with some of the reserved bacon and scallions.

Makes 6 generous servings of 1 cup each.

*Check sodium carefully when using clam juice because the amount of sodium can vary dramatically between brands. This recipe uses Bar Harbor clam juice with only 120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving