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    Monday, May 15, 2006

    New England Clam Chowder NZ Style

    Alton Brown on the Food TV "Good Eats" programme, which is a mine of excellent information, made New England Clam Chowder, (made with milk, as against Manhattan Clam Chowder, which is made with tomatoes).

    For years I have made a Shrimp Chowder out of an old recipe book “The Triple Tested Cook Book”...which was the bible for a lot of people my age.
    So many 70's dinner parties were designed from this book.
    That chowder is good but this is more like the Chowder enjoyed in New England.
    We had a few samples while we were there and this matches up pretty well.
    In the photo you might like the kitschy touch of the real shells taken off a
    Cape Cod Beach!!! (but then again you may not!)

    Canned clams are available in New Zealand but you do have to hunt for them on the supermarket shelf…so persevere.
    I have adapted this soup by adding corn to it as I love the crunchiness of pieces
    of corn in every spoonful.
    This will feed 4 for lunch 6-8 for first course.

    3 rashers bacon Streaky is best
    1 tbs vege oil Rice Bran is really good
    2 med potatoes peeled and small dice
    2 med onions peeled and chopped
    2 cups lite milk
    ½ cup water
    1 cup frozen corn
    1 147gm tin clams Drained reserve the juice
    Sea salt and white pepper
    2-3 tbs chopped parsley
    Few dashes Tabasco (optional)

    In a med pan cook the bacon to render out the fat. Put a few drops of hot water into the pan this helps to get more fat out. Remove the bacon chop finally and put aside for garnish.

    Add the oil to the bacon fat and throw in your onions stir around…
    picking up all the residue so that you don’t get burnt bits in the finished product.
    Then the potatoes, stir again and add milk and 1/2 cup of water.
    Bring to a light boil and simmer till potatoes are tender. Add ½ of the corn and the clam juice simmer another 3-4 minutes.

    Now to get it creamy without adding more dairy just gently puree with your hand blender or use the potato masher…we do want some bits so don’t overdo it.
    This is the time to taste and add the pepper and salt if you need it.
    I think it does but it’s up to you.

    Throw in the remainder of the corn and the clams...just before serving add the parsley and Tabasco and garnish with chopped bacon.