This is a “hold me momma” recipe. Some days just call for a comforting, soul satisfying, put me to bed with an extra blanket type of meal. This past week’s frigid temps snuck back in to town and my people needed a big ol’ cup of this chowder.
It’s simple enough to make, you don’t need fresh clams but I was near our favorite fish market and stopped by to see if we might be lucky enough to get them fresh.
If you live in the Camp Lejeune area I have to say Clyde Phillips Seafood Market in Swansboro is hands down the best fish market in the area. They always have the best catch and are so helpful in answering all of my questions: what’s in season, how do I cook this, can you help me fix a flat tire???
I’m not even kidding with that last question. A post for another day. Two years ago three salty fishermen became our angels on a mission to find my seriously hidden spare tire. I love these people.
If you want fresh seafood, this is where you will find it.
For the sake of this recipe though I am going to sub in chopped canned clams. I often make it this way and honestly there is so much else going on in this recipe….ehhmmm..bacon, you truly don’t notice.
Ko’s Clam Chowder (serves 5)
- 6 pieces of thick cut bacon (chopped)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1/4 white wine
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 3 cans of chopped clams (drain only one of them and save for possible use)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 potatoes (peeled, diced into 1/2 cubes and roasted in the oven for 20 minutes at 425°)
- Old Bay oyster crackers (recipe posted below)
- Chives (chopped)
In a dutch oven fry up the bacon pieces. Once brown and crispy, remove half of the bacon to a paper towel to drain and be used as garnish. Drain off half the fat and add the onion and garlic to the remaining bacon. Sauté until everything is golden and toasty. Add the white wine and let it cook off for a couple of minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream. Next, add the three cans of clams along with their juices (except for the one can you drained). Fold in the cooked potatoes, thyme and liquid smoke. Let everything simmer for 20-30 minutes. If it is too thick add the reserved clam juice a little at a time. Ladle into bowls and top with Old Bay crackers, extra bacon and fresh chives.
*note* If you don’t do bacon, which several of my friends abide by, just add another teaspoon of liquid smoke to the recipe. It will be just as wonderful and piggie free!
Old Bay Oyster Crackers (these are addicting!)
- 1 bag of oyster crackers (sold near the Saltines)
- 1/4 cup of melted butter
- 2-3 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl mix the crackers, melted butter and seasoning until everything is evenly coated. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Let cool completely before storing.