Clam Chowder: A Comforting Seafood Stew
When we think of clam chowder, we often envision a hearty bowl of seafood stew with a creamy base. This dish is popular at restaurants and easy to make at home too – whether as part of your light meal or served alongside some fresh produce like an impressive side salad! No matter what version you serve this clam chowder recipe with, your family and friends are sure to be delighted!
Clam chowder comes in many varieties, some featuring potatoes while others are thicker and creamy with little or no vegetables included. Ultimately, what type of clam chowder you choose depends on where you live and your personal preferences.
New England Clam Chowder
A classic New England clam chowder is made with fresh clams and is one of the most beloved types. While you can use any variety of clam in this soup, smaller, more tender varieties are preferred.
This chowder features cooked clams in chicken broth and then combined with chunks of white potatoes. You can also add canned diced tomatoes and green chiles for additional flavor. This meal makes an excellent lunch or dinner meal and will surely leave your family wanting more!
Manhattan Clam Chowder
This version of chowder is similar to the New England variety, but it uses tomato juice instead of milk or cream. The smoky taste of tomato juice pairs perfectly with salty clams while keeping the consistency thinner than other versions.
Chowder sauces are thickened with a roux, made with equal parts flour and fat such as bacon fat or butter. You can either make this roux in the same pot you cook your chowder in, or in a separate skillet.
You can also use store-bought roux, which is a premade mix made of equal parts flour and oil or butter. Once your chowder has the roux, it will thicken quickly.
Other than the roux, all other ingredients for this dish are relatively straightforward. You will need a large stockpot or dutch oven, canned clams and some water.
To prepare this chowder, you will need to boil some potatoes before adding them to the soup. Alternatively, you can use frozen, thawed potatoes and forgo this step altogether.
This chowder is a fun twist on the traditional New England clam chowder, using leeks instead of onions and adding a splash of wine for an aromatic note in the soup. Plus, it has some heat as it features fire roasted diced tomatoes!
This chowder’s seasoning includes minced garlic, thyme (dry or fresh), smoked paprika, celery seed, freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. If you have bay leaf on hand, feel free to add it as well.
This chowder takes only minutes to prepare, making it ideal for an easy dinner or lunch on the go. Plus, you can reheat it if necessary – it will stay fresh in the fridge up to three days and freeze up to two months!
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