Added by Saltjunk | Sun 03 Oct 2010 @ 15:41
It seems that every country and or regions of a particular country all want to take credit for the famous “Clam Chowder.” Going back in history, it would be almost impossible to pin point any country with the first origins of this dish. Chowder or any of a variety of soups featuring salt pork fat, thickened with flour, heavy roux, hard tac (ship biscuit) or saltine crackers and milk, first materialized with the Breton fisherman who migrated south of New England from Newfoundland. So lets begin a new tradition, and call this dish which originated in Newfoundland anyway, “Newfoundland Clam Chowder.” For restaurant owners, you can add the new name to your menus. As described by Wikipedia, Clam chowder is any of several chowders containing clams and broth. Along with the clams, diced potato is common, as are onions, which are occasionally sautéed in the drippings from salt pork or bacon. Celery is frequently used. Other vegetables are uncommon, but small carrot strips might occasionally be added, primarily for color. A garnish of parsley serves the same purpose. Bay leaves are also sometimes used as a garnish and flavouring. It is believed that clams were added to chowder because of their relative ease to collect. Clam chowder is often served in restaurants on Fridays in order to provide a seafood option for those who abstain from meat every Friday, which used to be a requirement for Catholics before liturgical changes in Vatican II, and on Fridays during Lent. Though the period of strict abstinence from meat on Fridays was reduced to Lent, the year-round tradition of serving clam chowder on Fridays remains.
1 bottle clam juice - 10 oz (or water)
1 can clams (drained and save juice)
1 potato (peeled & diced)
1 lg onion (chopped small)
1 celery stick (chopped small)
1 sm carrot (chopped small)
2 garlic cloves (chopped finely – optional)
2 oz flour (4 tbsp flour / ¼ cup flour)
½ cup milk
2 tbsp butter
Pepper & salt to taste
Drain clams, save the juice. Combine bottle clam juice and juice from the can of clams. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and keep liquid hot until required.
In a saucepan, heat butter over moderate heat. Add onions, garlic, potato, carrot and celery. Sweat vegetables without letting brown. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook the roux for 3-4 minutes, do not let it brown.
Using a wire whisk, slowly stir the clam liquid/juice in the roux. Bring to a boil, stirring to make sure the liquid is smooth. Simmer until vegetables are very tender (approx 20 mins). Stir in the clams and hot milk. Heat gently, do not boil. Season to taste.
If using fresh clams, chop them, and save juice
Ensure vegetables are cut approx the same size
Do not let your vegetables brown, just sweat them
Add a little butter and cream at the end for flavour and thickness