The Oyster Bar's Manhattan Clam Chowder
|Chowder clams/Cherrystone clams bottled clam juice as needed||24|
|Cherrystone clams||12 (Unshucked, Fresh Ones)|
|Dried oregano leaves||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Thyme leaves||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Vegetable oil||2 Tablespoon|
|Yellow onion||1 Medium, finely chopped to make 1 cup|
|All purpose potatoes||2 Medium, peeled and diced to make 2 cups|
|Tomatoes||4 Large, peeled and coarsely chopped to make 2 cups|
|Carrot||1 Large, peeled, finely chopped to make 1/2 cup|
|Stalk celery||1 , finely chopped to make 1/2 cup|
|Sweet green pepper||1 Small, cored, seeded, and finely chopped to make 1/2 cup|
|Cold water||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|White of leek||1 Small, finely chopped to mae 1/4 cup|
|Tomato puree||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Salt||1⁄4 Teaspoon (Or To Taste)|
|Black pepper||1⁄4 Teaspoon (Or To Taste)|
1. Shuck all of the chowder clams , reserving the liquor, and coarsely chop them (you should have about 2 cups). Strain the clam liquor, adding enough bottled clam juice, if necessary, to make 1/2 cups. Scrub the unshucked cherrystone clams if using. Cover and refrigerate all of the clams and liquor.
2. To make a bouquet garni: On a 4-inch square of cheesecloth, place the bay leaf, oregano, and thyme. Pull up the corners of the cheesecloth and tie them tightly with a cotton string.
3. In a large saucepan or 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes or until tender.
Stir in the reserved clam liquor, potatoes, tomatoes, carrot, celery, green pepper, water, leek, tomato puree, salt, black pepper, and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the chopped clams and continue to cook, uncovered, 15 minutes more. Add the cherrystone clams in their shells if you wish. Continue cooking 15 minutes more or until the clams and vegetables are tender. Discard the bouquet garni and any clams that did not open. Using a slotted spoon, divide the unshucked clams among 4 soup bowls, then ladle the chowder over them.