Monday, December 17, 2012

New England Clam Chowder Recipe - for Christmas Eve!

Clam chowder on Christmas Eve has been a tradition at our home for many years. Although our Christmas celebration has changed from the time our kids were little, it is nice to have some things the same, like this great clam chowder. This recipe is one I made from guessing at the ingredients in a clam chowder I enjoyed years ago in Massachusetts.

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

Hormel® Natural Choice® ham can be substituted for the bacon. It has no preservatives and is 100 percent natural with no artificial colors or flavors, and no added nitrites or nitrates and is gluten free.

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.)
black pepper
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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Unknown said...

Ooooohhh... we LOVE New England clam chowder here.... I don't make it enough, that is for sure! Yours looks perfect - warming and comforting!! YUM!

Yenta Mary said...

A fabulous soup, lovely dishes, beautiful traditions, family ... a much-needed smile on this Monday morning ....

Terri D said...

Judy, that sounds delicious! It does fit right in with the Italian tradition of having fish on Christmas eve. I will copy your recipe to my recipe page, for safe keeping!! Thanks for sharing this! Yum!

Deanna said...

I LOVE clam chowder! My husband doesn't feel the same way so I'll have to give this a try sometime when he's away on business.

Katherines Corner said...

We love clam chowder and your looks divine. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Hopping over from make the scene Monday Hugs

MadSnapper said...

i love that first photo. the dishes are so beautiful. i love clam chowder but only if someone like you makes it... can you send a little in an envelope?
i am guessing now who did the spoon lay out... who cares is the answer. it looks beautiful.

Bethany Nash said...

We're always at my mother's on Christmas Eve, but I'm thinking of making this for New Year's Eve.

RURAL said...

Oh that's such a wonderful recipe...I am so close to getting the ingredients and making some.

What a splendid idea.


Denise said...

Do not like clams.

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

What a great recipe!! Can't wait to try it my husband loves clam chowder!!

Deborah said...

What a great tradition! I know my husband would love it if we started the same tradition. :)

Anonymous said...

This is my husband's favorite - thank you for the recipe! God bless you and yours this Christmas.

Love Bakes Good Cakes said...

My oldest son loves New England Clam Chowder! Thank you so much for sharing at All my Bloggy Friends this week - Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!

Julie said...

Yummy. I love your recipe. I tried a clam chowder recipe a couple months ago and while it was good, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for in a clam chowder. I will have to give your recipe a try one day. I love the addition of jalapeno pepper. I'd love for you to share this at my Marvelous Mondays party.

Have a Merry Christmas!


Lori Vachon said...

Sounds delish!

Anonymous said...

Your clam chowder looks so delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe with us.

Chatty Crone said...

It looks good - but I am not a clam chowder kind of gal - wish I was.

Unknown said...

Oh I'm saving this Judy - it look delicious!
We do our Turkey dinner Christmas Eve but this would be great for New Years like you said

xoxo_grah said...

That looks really delicious...Seems like a comfort food for the wonderful season of the year...:) Merry Christmas!


Unknown said...

Love New England clam chowder. Never had a recipe and this looks yummy. Thank you for sharing.

We may have met by chance...but we become friends by choice.

Unknown said...

Funny, my Mother and I were just talking about clam chowder! This recipe looks great and I am glad you shared the recicpe and your story.

Thanks for linking up to Foodie Friends Friday.

Cynthia at

Lois Christensen said...

My father loved this soup! Thanks for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back on Sunday to VOTE!

Kathryn Ferguson Griffin said...

Oh yummy! You will be one of the features at Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope you have a Merry Christmas! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

Jessica | Petal + Ply said...

yum. my husband loves clam chowder! I might have to try making it one of these days! I'd love for you to share at my holiday recipes link party if you have a chance!

debbie bailey said...

We've been having Crab Stew on Christmas Eve at our house. Everyone loves it, so I guess a new tradition is born!

Love Bakes Good Cakes said...

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Your project is being featured tomorrow. Have a safe and Happy New Year - I can't wait to see what you share tomorrow!

Lisa @ Flour Me With Love said...

This looks amazing! What a wonderful holiday meal. Thanks for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

Lisa @ Flour Me With Love said...

This is being featured today :)

Diane Balch said...

I love that your clam chowder has a little kick to it. If you could bring it by our foodie friday linky party I'm sure people will enjoy it.


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