Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Clam Chowder

I have a picky eater, but this is one of her favorite meals. To cut out some of the fat you can cut out the cream or half and half and just use more milk - you may have to adjust the roux a little though. We love this in bread bowls which our local grocery store bakery is happy to make for me.

1 C onion finely chopped
1 C finely diced celery
2 C finely diced potatoes
2 cans (6 ½ oz) undrained clams
¾ C butter
¾ C flour
1 quart half and half or cream (or just use extra milk)
1-2 quarts milk
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Red wine or balsamic vinegar
Pinch or two of sugar

Drain clams onto vegetables, and add enough water until vegetables are barely covered. Cook until tender (15 minutes). In a large pan, stir flour and butter until bubbly. Remove from heat and add cream, mixing until smooth. Add enough milk until the desired amount is almost attained. (I just add enough milk for the servings needed – if it’s only for a few, I half the amount of half and half, and do the rest with milk, but if it’s for a lot of people, I add more milk, and more half and half –– just adjust it for how many servings you are making). Return to heat to cook. Stir (constantly) until thick and smooth. (This burns easily so make sure you constantly stir it). When it reaches your desired consistency, add vegetables and juices as well as salt and pepper, seasoning to taste. I also usually add a pinch or two of sugar, as well as 1-2 tsp of either red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar which really helps the flavor – all to your taste. You may also add a couple of drops of liquid smoke if desired.

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