Oct 23, 2012

How to Boil Water: Rich Clam Chowder

Believe it or not, I did some cooking. I know I have a newborn in the house and I cooked. In fact, I have cooked a couple times. Impressed I know! Well, here's the what happened: On Sunday before I went into labor (two weeks early I might add) I had gone grocery shopping for some meals that I could have with gestational diabetes. My shopping trip included a bunch of produce - I was trying to be healthy. Well, then I went into labor and the meals I had planned for the week were not what I had planned for after Addison was actually born. I was wanting easy meals that we had had before, but now I didn't want all that produce to go to waste. So I conquered a new recipe the same week she was born - I'm like a superhero!

But don't worry the fact that I cooked the same week she was born was about the end of my superhero ways. Because as I have said before, it's really important to read the recipe carefully, including how many a recipe serves. In this case, this recipe serves 22. A major oversight on my part since I made the recipe without splitting it in half at least. So now we have enough clam chowder to last us a lifetime. Good thing it was good...

Ingredients:
6 cups diced peeled red potatoes
3 large onions, finely chopped
6 celery ribs, finely chopped
3 cups water
6 cans (6 1/2-oz each) minced clams
1-1/2 cups butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
8 cups half-and-half cream
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
1. In a stockpot, combine the potatoes, onions, celery and water. Drain clams, reserving juice; set clams aside. Add juice to potato mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Gradually stir in cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir in 2 minutes or until thickened. Gradually stir into potato mixture.
3. Add vinegar, parsley, salt, pepper and reserved clams. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.





Like I said, I made enough to feed a small army, but luckily it was good so the leftovers should be delicious too. It was actually fairly easy to make. All the prep work was time-consuming. The book estimated 45 minutes of prep time. I definitely took longer than that to get everything cut and measured out. So make sure to set plenty of time aside for all the prep. The cooking itself was fairly quick and painless however. The only other thing that I overlooked and didn't realize until I was actually cooking was that I didn't buy enough half-and-half. I had just over four cups but definitely not 8 cups. I did add a little just plain skim milk to it to try to get it a bit closer. I didn't think it tasted weird or anything, but now I know. Although, if I'm ever making this recipe again, I'm definitely not making enough to serve 22 people - unless of course I have 22 people in my house at that moment but that seems very unlikely.


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