Happy As A Clam Spicy Chowder
Just this last week I wanted to make a nice holiday dinner for a very special fella in my life (Graeme) who was coming up from Las Vegas. We are both pretty healthy eaters (most of the time) and I didn’t want to make the traditional Christmas turkey, stuffing and gravy kind of deal for our meal. I thought, why not a seafood menu since Vancouver has the best and freshest seafood available? So a trip to Granville Island was in store for me.
On the menu for the evening was:
- tomatoes with basil, bocconcini and peach balsamic
- dungeness crab cakes with orange marmalade horseradish sauce
- spicy clam chowder with fresh clams
- gluten-free white & dark chocolate bread pudding with walnuts, frangelico cream sauce and raspberry coulis.
The Verdict of Happy As A Clam Spicy Chowder
I love this chowder base and would use it in the future for other chowders, especially with smoked salmon, shrimp and halibut chowder. I would though add in some fresh shucked corn into a halibut chowder. Graeme also gave the soup a two thumbs up and accepted a second helping. He did mention that it had a nice smokey flavour, almost gouda like. It did not have gouda but I used a premium smoked bacon with goat yogurt that may have given that rich smokey flavor. Graeme did mention that it could have used a tad more lemon. I did use Meyer lemons for an expiriment but next time I will revert back to plain old lemons as they seem to be tangier and dependable. I loved using fresh clams versus canned clams – they seemed to be happier in my bowl and my tummy – so meaty and not rubbery like their cousins! Oh, ya, don’t overdo it with the red thai peppers – they are very spicy goddesses!
Happy As A Clam Spicy Chowder Ingredients:
- 100 grams double smoked bacon, cut into ½ inch dice
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots (approx 1 cup), diced small
- 2 celery (approx 1 cup), diced small
- 2 red thai chile, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper (approx 3/4 cup), diced small
- 4 medium red potatoes (approx 2.5 – 3 cups), diced small
- 2 small bottles of clam juice (2 x 296ml)
- 3 cups white wine
- 1 large tomato, diced small
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups goat yogurt
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 lbs fresh clams
- 3 teaspoon chives, finely sliced
- dash of salt and pepper
Happy As A Clam Spicy Chowder Instructions:
- In a large pan, sauté bacon over medium heat until brown and crisp, approximately 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to plate and allow to rest.
- Add in shallot, garlic, carrot, celery, red thai chile, red pepper and potatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in oyster juice, 2 cups wine, tomato and water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Add the goat yogurt, lemon juice, thyme and bacon to pan. Heat through until potatoes are soft, but do not boil at this point. Reduce heat to low. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a separate pot, steam clams in a cup of white wine for a few minutes or until they open up.
- Distribute the clams in bowls. Throw away any clams that have not opened up.
- Ladle soup over clams in bowls and garnish with chives.