It seems that this recipe used to require many more steps, but now I've got it fine tuned and pretty easy to make. It's not just for Christmas Eve, so it would make a great New Year's Eve meal also. The Christmas dishes had belonged to my mom.
Don't blame me for the knife and spoon placement.
Judy's Clam Chowder:
10 slices of hickory-smoked bacon, fried crisp, broken into tiny pieces
4 small potatoes, skin on, diced
3 small carrots, diced
4 ribs of celery, minced
1 med. onion, minced
1 Carmen red pepper or red bell pepper (sweet), diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
3-4 cans of clams. Do not drain. If minced, use as is. If chopt, run through food processor first. This is simply a preference. I don't like big, rubbery hunks of clam. Ew!!!Also, I prefer Gorton's brand.
2 quarts of whole milk
3/4 c. flour
1 bay leaf, broken in pieces
1-2 t. thyme (I used 2 t.)
sea salt to taste
Open 3-4 cans of clams, pour all (incl. juice) into saucepan. Add potatoes and carrots and cook til they are just tender, not mushy.
In a skillet, saute celery, onion, peppers in a couple T. butter until tender.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour into a couple cups of the milk. Add remaining milk little by little, whisking as you add so there are no lumps.
Pour all (including the liquid from the potato/carrots/clams) into my large Martha Stewart stainless steel pot which doesn't let anything stick on the bottom. Heat on Low, stirring. Add seasonings.
Bring to near boil, but DON'T BOIL. At this point, you can then cool the chowder and keep refrigerated overnight OR (if you're going to eat in a couple hours,) let sit covered, then bring back to temperature and serve.
A great accompaniment to my clam chowder: popovers
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