The Wide Eyed Clam & His Chowder
|January 1, 2012||Filled under Fish & Seafood, Main Dish, Soups & Stews|
Just a few miles from here, along the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean lived a small clam named Barry. Barry was smart as a whip and always had been according to his mother. He had a certain way of noticing things. He noticed how the gulls eyed their prey for several minutes before swooping and scooping. He noticed the slight vibration in the waves when a storm was coming. And he noticed above all other things that he was different than other clams because he noticed things. Most clams just snapped their shells closed at the slightest sign of any change in the wind or new visitor. Barry was fond of holding his shell open for long periods of time, staring out into the distance. He gazed at strange fish as they swam by with their funny eyes. He stared at the anemone swaying in the tidal currents.
One day a diver came along with his scuba gear and his wide goggles. When the other clams slammed shut their shells, Barry did not. For he had never seen a diver before and he could not bring himself to close his shell and block out what he saw. So he watched as the diver came closer and closer and finally scooped him up in his large net. Not even then did Barry slam his shell closed.
That night the diver chopped and diced and boiled and stirred. And he added Barry to a large pot of chowder. Barry was unlike any other clam in another way. You see, all his time open in his shell had made him richer in taste and bigger than any other clam. It was the exposure that gave him great flavor. The diver that night, dined on a wonderful clam chowder with Barry as the star of the dish. It was the best chowder ever made.
And the moral of this story; wide eyed wonder is seasoning to the meat and soul of a being.
- 4 cans (6.5oz) clams
- 6 slices bacon
- 3 medium onions, diced
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- dash of pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 5 tsp flour
Putting It All Together:
- Drain clams reserving 1 1/2 cups clam juice.
- In a large dutch oven cook bacon until crisp and remove to paper towels to cool.
- Reserve bacon drippings in pan.
- Add onions and celery to bacon drippings in pan; cook over medium heat until tender.
- Stir in white wine and boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
- Stir in clam juice, potatoes, bouillon, thyme and pepper.
- Return to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.
- Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- Remove cover and mash potatoes in pot.
- In a large bowl stir together milk, cream and flour.
- Add milk mixture to pot.
- Simmer and stir until thickened.
- Stir in clams.
- Reduce heat and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until ready to serve.
- Sprinkle each serving with crumbled bacon.