I love clam chowder but there is a conundrum. Which is better, New England style or Manhattan style?
I love both for different reasons. I love the creamy texture of New England style but like the bright tomato/vegetable flavours in Manhattan. Can you have both in a clam chowder?
I have been messing around with a version and think I have got it where I want it to be.
The next problem was what to name it. If New England and Manhattan can have their own chowder, so can we! Cranbrook is a small city in the Canadian Rockies near where I live. Now it has its own Clam Chowder.
I started by cutting up my ingredients (you can say Mise En Place). I diced:
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) bacon
- 150 ml (1/3 cup) onion
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) sweet red pepper
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) carrot
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) celery
- 1 medium potato
- 1 small tomato (about 150 ml (2/3 cup)
Put in a bowl:
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) dried thyme
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) dried parsley
- 1 ml (1/4 tsp) oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Open a can of baby clams. You will be using the clams and the liquid.
- 40 ml (3 tbsp) flour
- 300 ml (1 1/4 cup) clamato juice
- 40 ml (3 tbsp) milk
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) white wine
Heat 25 ml (2 tbsp) oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon to it and cook until the bacon is starting to crisp.
Add the onion, red pepper, carrot, and celery. Saute until the vegetables start to soften.
Add the herbs and garlic. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until you can smell the herbs. Add the flour and stir to mix. Add the clamato juice, milk, and white wine. Stir to combine.
Add the potatoes, clams with liquid, and tomatoes.
Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This has the nice creamy chowder consistency with a bright tomato background. The vegetables add a lot of colour and flavour. There are enough clams to hit home that it is clam chowder and they are reinforced by the clamato juice.
It is just what I was looking for, a substantial chowder with a lot of complex flavours.
The Old Fat Guy
Cranbrook Clam Chowder
- 25 ml vegetable oil 2 tbsp
- 125 ml bacon ½ cup, diced
- 150 ml onion ⅔ cup, diced
- 50 ml sweet red pepper ¼ cup, diced
- 50 ml carrot ¼ cup, diced
- 50 ml celery ¼ cup, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 ml dried thyme ½ tsp
- 3 ml dried parsley ½ tsp
- 1 ml dried oregano ¼ tsp
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 300 ml clamato juice 1 ¼ cups
- 40 ml milk 3 tbsp
- 15 ml white wine 1 tbsp
- 1 can (142 g) baby clams 5 oz, with juice
- 1 medium potato diced
- 1 small tomato diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute until brown. Add the onion, red pepper, carrot, and celery. Saute until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the bay leaf, thyme, dried parsly, oregano, and garlic. Saute about 1 minute, until the herbs can be smelled.
- Add the flour and mix to coat the vegetables. Add the clamato, milk, and wine. Stir to combine. Add the clams with liquid, potatoes and tomato. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.