New England Clam Chowder
|Cherrystone clams/Chowder clams||1 Dozen (3 Inch Size)|
|Lean smoked bacon slice||1 Ounce, cut into 1/2 inch squares|
|Onion||6 Ounce, chopped|
|Dried thyme||1⁄4 Teaspoon, crumbled|
|All purpose flour||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Milk||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
|Baking potatoes||8 Ounce, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes|
|Worcestershire sauce||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Black pepper||1⁄8 Teaspoon|
|Chopped parsley||1 Tablespoon (For Garnish)|
1. Put the clams in a large bowl of cold water and scrub them with a brush. Rinse well. Put the clams in a large heavy pot and cover. Place over high heat and cook until they open, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with tongs; let cool slightly. Reserve 1 cup of the clam juice.
2. With a small spoon, scoop the clams from their shells. Some may not be open all the way but can be easily pried open with a spoon or butter knife; discard any that cannot be easily pried open. If there is more than 1 cup of clam juice, discard some. If there is less, add water or bottled clam juice to make 1 cup. Reserve the whole clams in the juice until needed.
3. Put the bacon in a heavy large soup pot or saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and saute until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. With a fork, stir in the thyme and flour. The flour will not dissolve completely in the small amount of fat but will moisten enough to dissolve when the liquid is added. Stir in the milk. Place over moderate heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer, stirring once in awhile, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
4. Remove the clams from the juice; reserve the juice and drain the clams. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the clam juice. Pour into the soup and, stirring constantly, return to a boil. Cook until thickened. Reduce the heat to low.
5. Coarsely chop the clams (about 3 cuts lengthwise and then 4 crosswise) and add them to the chowder. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Serve hot, with a pinch of chopped parsley.