Manhattan Clam Chowder
|Ripe firm tomatoes/4 cups, canned tomatoes , drained, chopped||4 Large|
|Large hard shell clams||2 Dozen, shucked and drained and their liquor|
|Finely chopped onions||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Finely chopped carrots||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Finely chopped celery||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Water||3 Cup (48 tbs)|
|Bay leaf||1 Medium|
|Crumbled dried thyme||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Freshly ground black pepper||To Taste|
|Boiling potatoes||3 Medium, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice to make 2 cups|
1 If using fresh tomatoes, in a pan, bring water to a boil and drop in the tomatoes for 15 seconds.
2 Remove carefully and peel off the skins using a small sharp knife.
3 Remove the stems and cut the tomatoes crosswise in half.
4 Carefully squeeze the halves, removing the juice and seeds.
5 Chop the pulp coarsely.
6 If using canned tomatoes, drain thoroughly and chop.
7 Chop the clams finely and reserve.
8 Line a fine sieve with a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth.
9 Strain the clam liquor through the sieve, reserving 3 cups of the liuor.(if it is less than 3 cups, add in water to make 3 cups)
10 In a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat.
11 Add the onions, carrots and celery.
12 Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft but not brown.
13 Add in the chopped tomatoes, clam liquor, 3 cups of water, bay leaf, thyme and a few grindings of pepper.
14 Bring to a boil over high heat.
15 Lower the heat and partially cover the pan.
16 Simmer for 45 minutes.
17 Stir in the potatoes and continue simmering, partially covered for another 12 minutes.
18 Add in the chopped clams and cook the chowder for another 2 to 3 minutes.
19 Remove and discard the bay leaf.
20 Correct the seasoning.
21 Serve at once in individual soup plates or from a heated tureen