Take a little trip to Wikipedia, search "Clam Chowder", and this is what you will eventually end up with:
Clam chowder is any of several chowders containing clams and broth. Along with the clams, potato chunks are common, as are onions, which are occasionally sauteed in the drippings from salt pork. 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 flavoring.
Ah, and the one I decided to make, was the good ol' New England Clam Chowder. Usually, its loaded with cream and bacon drippings, but hey, not everyone wants to go up 2 sizes overnight, or at least I don't think so!
My mom's new habit is to frequent a joint called "The Soup Spoon". Im guessing that by the name, you know what they specialize in. She bought the clam chowder home for my sister and herself the other day, and they were RAVING about how good it was. The jealous cooking monster in me naturally came out. I know, I am weird.
"I am going to make BETTER clam chowder. BETTER I TELL YOU!!!!" I screamed in my head.
Since fresh clams of high quality are rather difficult to find over here, I settled for canned baby clams. And since most New England Clam Chowders start of with a roux, I ended up using milk instead of cream, since the roux would thicken it up and make it seem like cream in the end, anyway.
I also didn't intend on putting carrots in my chowder, but for some reason, I reached for some carrots in the refrigerator and started dicing them for no apparent reason. "Oh well, I guess they've gotta go in, then"
PS: My mother still has NOT replaced my camera's charger, so I had to use my sister's camera again. I have to admit, I have NO idea on how to use her camera properly, and hence, my photo didn't turn out as good as it could have :(
New England Clam Chowder
-2 10 oz cans of Baby Clams
- 1 cup white onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced potatoes
- 1 cup diced celery
For the roux,
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 litre of whole milk
- 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
-Salt/Pepper to taste
In a large pot, combine ingredients and all the liquid from the tinned clams. Reserve clams for later on.
If there isn't enough 'clam juice' to cover the vegetables, top it off with either bottled clam juice or just good ol' water. You don't want to SUBMERGE the vegetables, though.
Bring to a boil and lower the heat, leaving it at a simmer. Cook till the vegetables are barely tender. Turn off heat.
In another large pan, melt butter. Add flour all at one go, and whisk for 1-2 minutes to cook the flour. At first, gradually add the milk and whisk whisk whisk, in order to prevent any lumps from forming. After about 1/2 of the milk is incorporated, you can speed up the pouring process.
Continue whisking the milk mixture till it has thickened substantially. To this, add in the undrained vegetables, clams and red wine vinegar. Let the clams heat through, being careful to not overcook them, or they'll go all rubbery and nasty.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle the tops of individual portions with dried parsley flakes.