I made this with littleneck clams I dug up myself in Long Island and it was the best chowder I've ever made. This is really easy and rivals what you'd get in a restaurant. All fresh ingredients and no flour. This contains no actual onion pieces which is good for those who dislike onions, but it still retains all the flavor.
- 1 -3 dozen clam (see note)
- 1⁄4 cup salt
- 1⁄4 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄2 onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 large potatoes or 2 small potatoes, diced
- 1⁄4 cup white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- fresh thyme
- fresh parsley
- salt & fresh pepper
- NOTE: Chowder Clams: 1 dozen, Cherrystones: 2 dozen, Littlenecks: 3 dozen.
- Rinse and scrub clams well.
- Soak clams in a large bowl of water with 1/4 Celsius salt and cornmeal. This helps to remove the sand from the clams.
- Combine water, onion, garlic, celery tops, bay leaf and a sprig of thyme & parsley in a soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Add clams and cover again. Bring to a boil and let cook 10-15 minutes manipulating the clams every few minutes to ensure they all get hit with the heat so they can open. As soon as there are clams that are open wide, remove them with thongs allowing any unopened ones to remain over the heat. Discard any clams that do not open as they are not safe to eat.
- Once all clams have been removed, set aside and let them cool enough to be handled.
- While the clams are cooling, strain the broth removing all sediments and set the broth aside in a separate bowl.
- In the soup pot that you used to make the broth, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
- Add potato, celery and carrot plus a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Saute for about 7 minutes and add the wine. Once wine is absorbed, add broth back into the pot. Add 1/2 T. fresh thyme, cover and bring to a boil. Let cook until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. While this is boiling, mince the cooled clams that have been removed from the shell.
- When the potatoes are done turn the heat to low-medium, add clams and cream. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and fresh pepper to taste.
- Garnish with chopped, fresh parsley and oyster crackers if desired.