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One of the great things about living in the Bay Area, are some of the best restaurants in the country are here. The Tadich Grill If I remember correctly, is one of the oldest restaurants in San Francisco. More than fifteen gallons of this classic chowder are made at Tadich Grill every day (a little more than most home cooks require at a time). The white chowder was introduced as a daily menu item sometime in the 1960s.
- 4 slices bacon or 4 slices pancetta, coarsely chopped
- 3 green onions, white and light green parts, chopped, 3 shallots, chopped or 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 leek, white and light green parts, very thinly sliced
- 5 red potatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
- 1⁄3 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1⁄3 cup sliced celery
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 1⁄2 cups cold water
- 1 cup white wine fish stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 drops Tabasco sauce
- 3 (6 1/2 ounce) cans clams, with juice
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1⁄4 cup bechamel sauce
- 1⁄2 cup dry sherry
- Place a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the bacon and fry for 6 to 8 minutes, until crisp.
- Transfer to paper towels to drain. Drain off and discard half of the fat in the pot.
- Return the bacon to the pot over medium heat and add the onions, leek, potatoes, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Saute in the reserved bacon fat for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened and tender.
- Add the water, stock, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce and stir well. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the clams and their juice, stir well, and then add the cream. Stir in the cornstarch and the bechamel sauce and simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Just before serving, stir in the sherry. Transfer to warmed soup bowls and serve at once.