Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Slow Cooking Supper: "Down East" New England Clam Chowder

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This New England Clam Chowder is so easy--mainly because I live in Boston, where a lot of fish stores will allow you to buy pre-cooked clams already in their broth.  To me, this takes out all that annoying shucking and cleaning of clams and broth.  To be honest, sometimes, I will just buy the clams already shucked and use chicken stock.  It seriously doesn't taste all that different, it's way cheaper, and it's also quick!

I'm currently in a little competition right now called the New England Soup Challenge, and I wanted to show a unique side to New England Clam Chowder.  The first time I ever made this for John, he laughed because he thought I had forgotten tomatoes!  I had no idea tomatoes were in New England Clam Chowder!  The two of us started googling, determined that the other person was wrong (we do this a lot).  In the end, it turned out we were both right.  In Southern Maine, they do often serve their clam chowders with chopped tomatoes. 

Adding the tomatoes and corn (one of my favorites), enhances the flavors of the clam.  Plus it's something different.  I made our soup in the crockpot, but once you get the soup going, it's really easy to throw together.  I know it uses a lot of half-and-half.  I use fat free, but I've also used skim milk, and although it's not creamy, it's definitely pretty good for you!!
"Down East" New England Clam Chowder
Serves:  5
6 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
6 medium-sized red potatoes, chopped with the skin on
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup lobster meat, pre-cooked
3 cups fat free half-and-half
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup lobster meat, pre-cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 quart clams, shucked and cooked, with their broth
6 tablespoons salted butter
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Cook bacon in a large skillet, over medium heat until crispy.  Add onions and cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent.  Transfer the bacon, onions, and drippings into a large saucepan.  Scrub potato skins and dice potatoes keeping the skins on.  Add potatoes to the pan and stir well.  Add clam broth and enough water to cover the potatoes.  Simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).  Add corn, half-and-half and evaporated milk; bring to a simmer.  Add lobster meat, clams, butter, and tomatoes.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, but be careful not to boil.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

I promised something easier, and I think it delivered :) serve this with some homemade rolls and you've got yourself a delicious meal.  Now, I can't go into everything going on right now, but I am hard at work on a week of Valentine's Day dishes, and getting my blog newly designed with the help of my sister, the computer whiz, and John (also a computer whiz).

Lastly, one of my best friends, R, is going to be the guest blogger on Friday.  Well, I will use her recipe and try and incorporate as much of "her" essence as I can. 

Until the next time my oven is on...


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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