Fresh Clam Chowder
Traditional New England clam chowder made with fresh clams, salt pork and saltines (used as the thickener).
14 whole clams
8 cups boiling water
1/4 pound salt pork, diced
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups sliced onions
3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers
3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1 bay leaf
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
- Scrub whole clams and rinse in a large bowl of cold water.
- To boiling water, add diced salt pork and boil slowly for 5 minutes. Drain, discarding the liquid.
- Sauté the salt pork in a heavy saucepan with butter until the pork begins to brown. Stir in sliced onions, cover and cook slowly for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are tender and translucent. Blend in crushed crackers. Set aside.
- Place the clams in a steamer, add 1/4 inch water, cover, and steam for several minutes, until they open. Remove the meat from the shells and reserve. Carefully decant the steaming liquid into a measuring cup, being careful to keep out any sand. Add enough water to make 4 cups.
- Pour into the onion mixture. Add diced potatoes and bay leaf. Simmer, loosely covered for 20 minutes. Chop the clam meat and stir into the soup. Add milk and cream. Bring to just below simmering.
Makes 6 servings.