Victor decided to make clam chowder for dinner tonight.  What a treat!  I love coming home to dinner already cooked on Saturdays.  It’s always a gastronomical delight.  And today was damp and chilly – perfect soup weather.

We’ve had minced clams and clam juice in the cupboard for a while, now.  I kept thinking linguine with clam sauce – and just never quite got around to doing it. Now, I don’t have to!  It’s a win-win for me!

The very best clam chowder is Fanny Farmer simple.  Clams, milk, potatoes and bacon or  salt pork. No extraneous ingredients.  It’s the simplicity that makes it so good.

Victor pulled out our battered copy of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (© 1981 – it’s no longer that new) and tweaked their recipe a bit:

New England Clam Chowder

  • 2 6-1/2-ounce cans minced clams
  • 1 bottle clam juice
  • 2  slices bacon, cut up
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2  cup chopped onion
  • 1/8  teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2  cups milk
  • 1  cup heavy cream
  • 3  tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1  tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Drain canned clams, reserving juice.

In a large saucepan cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble bacon and set aside.

Saute onion and potato about 5 minutes.  Add clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Bring to boil and then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Stir together milk, heavy cream, and flour; add to potato mixture. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in clams. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through. Sprinkle each serving with crumbled bacon.

It was really excellent, but the fun part was serving it in hollowed out sourdough boules!  I ate every crumb!