Clear Clam Chowder With Hearts of Palm

"This is a Rhode Island Clam Chowder interpretation with hearts of palm instead of potatoes. The best bet with this recipe is to not get canned hearts of palm, but fresh, and cut as medallions similar to the canned versions. One key tip in this recipe, do NOT overcook the calms, they will turn into rubber! Also, if you are using frozen, thaw in lukewarm water before you cook, making sure they are soft and thawed before you add to the pot. Extra clams are always welcome here, just add more clam juice to fill out the pot for company."
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  • Chop Celery and the Hearts of Palm into bite sized pieces. Use fresh hearts of palm over canned, to get a less "canned" flavor. Dice shallots fairly small. mince the garlic.
  • Cook up bacon and dice it, then measure out the 1/4 cup for this recipe.
  • Melt butter in pot, then add the bacon and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add chopped celery, shallots and garlic to the pot and saute for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add clam juice and hearts of palm to the pot and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the fresh or canned clams to the pot and simmer for 2 more minutes, then turn off the heat. If you cook too long, the clams will be TOUGH!
  • Season the soup to taste with the thyme, salt, and pepper. Dash in the cayenne until you get a nice but subtle kick.

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Started washing dishes in restaurants (the Moose Lodge to be precise) at 13. Worked at a bunch of Long Island restaurants from 14 to 18, did salad prep, sous, breakfasts, line, short order and whatever role was open. Loved it, and kept cooking when I went into the Army at 18. By 22, stopped cooking for work, but still cook at home a lot. Now, I actually think I am a better cook than ever, and have even considered opening my own restaurant some day.
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