When I was a teenager on the farm I worked at a Gun Club on Sundays setting skeet traps. Skeet shooting is a recreational and competitive activity where participants, using shotguns, attempt to break clay disks mechanically flung into the air from two fixed stations at high speed from a variety of angles. My mother was a weekend cook and one of the women who prepared clam chowder for the competitors, using cans of clams and water…yuck! I detested this version. Later on in life I came to love New England clam chowder. Recently I came across this recipe which turned out very well.
New England Clam Chowder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice
1 cup heavy cream or Media Crema
2 bay leaves
1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes I cheated and used canned potatoes chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.
Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman