This week the fish monger had the most beautiful clams, so it’s chowder time. To get the sand out soak them in heavily salted cold water and swirl every few minutes for about 1 hour.
3 lbs of clams
4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
2 leeks, chopped in small dice
2 celery stalks, chopped small dice
1 TBSP flour
1 c white wine
2 small waxy potaotes, peeled and diced
1 to 2 cups of water
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 c whipping cream
2 TBSP celery leaves of parley, chopped
Steam the clams. Place the clams in a large pot and add about a half inch of water to the pot. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Let the clams steam until they all open up, 5 to 10 minutes. The steaming water may foam up a bit, so watch so it doesn’t overflow the pot. Use a slotted spoon to remove the clams from the pot to a bowl. Strain the remaining clam steaming liquid through a fine mesh sieve to catch any grit, and reserve. You should have 2 to 3 cups of clam liquid. Separate the clams from the clam shells. Discard the shells. Roughly chop the cooked clams.
In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp, add leeks and celery and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, slowly pour in wine, incorporating a 1/8 of a cup at a time.
Add potatoes, 2 cups of the steaming liquid to cover potatoes. Add bay leaf, thyme, pepper and old bay. Heat to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cook for 30 minutes.
Heat the cream in a small pan and slowly add to the chowder, stir in clams and remove from heat. Stir in celery or parley leaves.