New Manhattan Clam Chowder is simply THE BEST clam chowder around. Combining the best of both New England and Manhattan Clam Chowder, this hearty and creamy soup is sure to be your new favorite!
I’m excited to bring to you today another guest blogger. As some of you know, I don’t eat seafood. But, I want to share with you the best seafood recipes out there!! This post is written by Rick, author and creator of Kitchen Hui. Rick is currently aboard his catamaran and travels all over the World, sharing his adventures both at sea and in the kitchen. He is quite the culinary seafood connoisseur and I think you all will LOVE his version of Clam Chowder!
There are two friendly well known rivalries between New Yorkers and New Englanders. They are between the football teams of the NY Giants and the NE Patriots and the baseball teams of the NY Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. However, there’s also a third, somewhat lesser known rivalry, which originated around the same time as the sporting two and it has to do with food, New England versus Manhattan clam chowder. The New England version was the earliest established and most popular variety of clam chowder. It is a cream based version and was introduced to the region in the mid to late 18th century by the French and British settlers. The first recipe for Manhattan clam chowder which uses tomatoes in place of cream was initially called “Fulton Fish Market Chowder” and was introduced by Portuguese immigrants in the 1890’s.
For the past ten years we’ve been living aboard a boat spending summers in Maine with stops in Manhattan each spring and fall during our annual migration. I’ve been fortunate to have had some wonderful chowder in both areas so I decided not to take a side, they’re both too good. So to remain neutral in the debate I created what I call New – Manhattan Chowder combining the best of both chowders into one. The silky texture of the cream along with a slight twang from the tomatoes makes for a sensational combination. And what better way is there to take the chill off a cold winter day than a warm bowl of clam chowder.
- 1 dozen fresh live clams (Several cans of whole or chopped clams can be substituted if fresh are not available)
- 1 - 1 ½ cups clam juice (this will be collected from the fresh clams, if using canned clams you’ll need to add canned or bottled clam juice)
- 6 – 8 slices of chopped bacon
- 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 4 – 5 red potatoes diced
- 1 15 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
- 1 8 oz can of tomato paste
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 8 Tbs butter (1 stick)
- 2 Tbs parsley
- 1 Tbs basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 – 6 whole Bay leaves
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 3 - 4 drops Liquid Smoke
- ¼ cup white wine or sherry
- 1 can of beer
- ¼ cup cooked chopped bacon along with oyster crackers and parsley for garnish
- Place clams into large pot add beer two bay leaves, cover with lid and steam clams until they slightly open, (approximately 5 – 7 min). Remove clams from heat and let cool.
- In large pot cook bacon, garlic and onions until lightly caramelized then add butter, celery, potatoes, herbs, spices and wine or sherry continue cooking over low to med-low heat.
- While vegetables are cooking use a butter knife to open up clams over a large bowl while collecting the clam juice. Use the knife to remove the clams, discard the shells, chop up clams into dice sized pieces and add to clam juice.
- In the pot with the bacon and vegetables add canned tomatoes, tomato paste and cream, mix well then add the clams - clam juice mixture and Liquid Smoke. Continue cooking; lightly simmer, over low to med-low heat until potatoes are soft, approximately 1 hour or longer depending on heat (a crock pot can also be used).
- Serve garnished with cooked chopped bacon, parsley and oyster crackers