Recipe by Rissa Lou
This is a creamy, gluten-free, New England-style chowder. When buying fresh clams be sure that they are all closed tightly. Clams that are opened are already dead and not a good idea to cook. Buy your clams no more that 1 day before you are going to use them. To keep them alive put them in a bowl and cover with a damp towel and place in the back/middle of the middle shelf in your fridge. (That is the coldest place.) This chowder is easy to make and very easy to eat. ;) I hope you enjoy!
- 3 lbs littleneck clams
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large onion
- 6 small red potatoes
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1⁄2 cup goat butter
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 quart goat's milk
- 1⁄4 cup of crumbled goat cheese
- salt & pepper
Directions See How It's Made
- Rinse the clams in cool water in the sink then place them with 1 pat of butter and the bay leaf in a large pot on the stove. Cover the pot and turn heat to medium. The clams will steam open in their own juices.
- While the clams are steaming wash and chop the celery, potatoes, carrots and onion into small bite-sized chunks or cubes. Peel the carrots only. Set the veggies aside in a bowl with the sprig of rosemary.
- Check the clams. You will know they are done when they are all open. Remove all the cooked clams using tongs and placing them in a bowl. Be sure that you save all the "clam liquor" in the bottom of the pot.
- Dump all the veggies, rosemary into the clam liquor in the pot without the clams. Pour enough water over the mixture to cover it by about half an inch. Add salt & pepper to taste. Cover the pot tightly and turn the heat up to medium/high or high until all the veggies are tender.
- While the veggies are cooking remove all the clam meat from the shells. Then, using either a small knife or your thumb nail (I prefer using my thumb nail) remove the blackish/greenish sandy belly from each clam. Set the clam meat aside in a bowl.
- In a medium sized sauce pan place the rest of your butter. Melt it over a medium to medium low heat. Once it is all melted add the rice flour, using a whisk to stir it smooth into the butter. Let the flour cook while whisking constantly over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat back to medium and whisk in the goat milk.
- Check on the veggies by spearing them with a fork. If they are firm but tender they are perfect. Reduce the heat to medium/low or low and add the clam meat.
- Go back to the milk mixture on the stove. Turn the heat up to medium/high to high and whisk constantly until the mixture starts to become thick. Add the hand-full of cheese and stir through. Once the mixture is all one smooth consistency and slightly pulls away from the pot when stirred it is ready to add to the veggie/clam mixture in the big pot.
- Stir the creamy sauce mixture into the veggie/clam mixture and turn the heat up slightly. Taste for salt content. Add salt if needed and allow to combine over low heat for an hour or two.
- For those who are not gluten-sensitive, serve with crusty bread or crouton garnish.
- Additional Notes:.
- The goat products in this recipe can be replaces with cows products. When choosing a cow cheese for this soup a variety of Parmesan or Romano would work nicely. I use the goat products because they are easier to digest and because of their tang and slight saltiness the soup requires less salt. I find that the goat products are great for cooking even if you don't like the taste of goat milk or cheese alone and that they add a richness and complexity to the food while still being reasonably good for you. Also, it is good to note that when you buy goat butter it comes in a very large brick instead of a stick. Half of this brick is equal to one regular stick of butter. You will want to half your brick for this recipe. Goat butter is pure white, unlike cow's butter, because it does not contain any karotin. Karotin is what gives cow's butter that, well, buttery hue.
- The rice flour in this recipe can also be replaced with regular all-purpose wheat flour. I like to use the rice flour because is easier to digest without having to sacrifice any creaminess in the soup. You do want to make sure that you cook the flour long enough in the butter however, or you will end up with a fine gritty texture to the soup. Wheat flour will make your soup a bit more glutenous in texture, which can be desirable. I find that when I make it with wheat flour that it takes less soup to fill me up.
- The littleneck clams in this recipe are pretty easy to find at your local fish monger. It is best to buy the clams on the day you intend to use them, but you can keep them in the refrigerator over night for 1 day. Place clams, free of packaging, in a bowl and cover with a damp but not sopping wet dishcloth. Then place it on the middle shelf of your fridge in the back. This is the coldest spot in your fridge. If a clam is open before you have cooked it it is dead and not a good idea to cook it. If it is closed tightly it is alive and fresh.
- This soup will keep for one day after cooking it. I do not recommend eating it after that.