"It seems Long Island, New York and Manhattan have argued for some time over just who gets credit for developing this recipe. Although some Long Islanders -- who just can't let go -- still refer to the chowder as Long Island Clam Chowder, the rest of the culinary world is in agreement that it is a Big Apple version. The chowder reminds me stylistically of a Maryland vegetable crab soup, with a vegetable soup base flavored with shellfish, and is totally satisfying. I realize that most people prefer a cream-based clam chowder, but I'll wholeheartedly cast my ballot for the vegetable rendition.
"Serve with soda or oyster crackers."
Servings: 6 - 8
- 4 cups chopped clams, juice reserved
- 1 2-inch piece salt pork, rind removed, or 1/4 cup bacon drippings
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 cups stewed tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes, with their liquid
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
- Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco sauce
- Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
Drain the clams; reserve both the clams and their liquid. You will need about 6 cups of clam liquid reserved from the chopped clams; if there is not sufficient liquid from the clams, add enough water to the reserved amount to measure 6 cups.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, heat the salt pork until the fat melts or heat the bacon drippings. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper, carrot and garlic and saute until slightly softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the stewed tomatoes with their juices, reserved clam liquid, oregano and thyme. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Add the clams and gently simmer for 10 minutes longer. Do not overcook the clams or they will toughen. Season with hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from "Coastal Cooking with John Shields: 125 of the Best Recipes from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coasts, and Hawaii" (Broadway Books, $32.50).
Tested by Judith Weinraub.
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