Boston Clam Chowder Challenge

Thursday, October 11, 2012 · Filed Under:

Who has the best Clam Chowder

B&G Oyster Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder Ingredients
• 1/8 (1/2 Stick) Unsalted Butter
• 2 cups Onion – medium dice
• 1 cup Celery – medium dice, washed in cold water
• 1 cup Leeks – medium dice, washed in cold water
• 1 1/4 cup White Wine
• 3 cups Clam Juice
• 1 cup Yukon Gold Potato – medium dice
• 2 cups Heavy Cream
• 1 cup Whole Milk
• Salt
• Pepper
• 1 cup Yukon Gold Potato – scrap
• Chopped Clams (reserved)
• 1 cup Bacon Lardons
• Sliced Chives

Step 1: In a large pot melt the Butter over medium heat then sweat the Onion, Celery and Leeks.
Step 2: Add the White Wine and reduce by ½.
Step 3: Add the Clam Juice and Potato. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the Potatoes are tender.
Step 4: Heavy Cream and Whole Milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Step 5: In a separate pot add the Yukon Potato scrap and cover with Water.  Bring to a boil and cook until they are literally mushy.
Step 6: Once the Yukon Potato scraps are mushy strain them and transfer the Potatoes to a blender.  Using a ladle, transfer 2 cups of the soup into the blender.  Blend on high until smooth.  Pour the pureed soup back into the soup.  
Step 7: Add in the reserved chopped Clams and the reserved Bacon Lardons.  
Step 8: Taste and adjust seasoning with Salt.
Step 9: Sprinkle sliced Chives and fresh ground Black Pepper on top.  Scatter a few of the Puff Pastry Croutons on top.

Puff Pastry Croutons 
• 1 sheet Puff Pastry
• 1/8 cup Paprika
• 1/8 cup Cayenne Pepper
• 1 Tbls. Salt

Step 1: Mix Paprika, Cayenne Pepper and Salt
Step 2: While Puff Pastry is still frozen, cut into ½ inch squares
Step 3: Arrange on sheet tray with parchment paper
Step 4: Bake in 350 degree oven until pastry is puffed and slightly toasted
Step 5: Put into large mixing bowl while still hot and mix with Paprika, Cayenne and Salt.   Save any extra spice mix.

Bacon Lardons 
• 1/2 slab Bacon (if slab bacon is not available, then pre sliced bacon)

Step 1: Dice the bacon into ½ inch sized squares and cook in a pan on medium heat until they are crispy.
Step 2: Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel and reserve.
Step 3: Discard the grease.

Clams and Clam Juice 
• 12 ea Topneck Clams
• 1 cup Water
• Cheesecloth or Coffee Filter
*If Topneck Clams are not available you may substitute Cherrystone Clams.  If Cherrystone Clams are not available you may substitute 24 Littleneck or Countneck Clams.  The procedure is the same for all.*

Step 1: Wash off the exterior of the Clams in cold water.
Step 2: Place the Clams in a large sauce pot and add the Water.  Turn the heat on high and cover with a lid.  Cook for 15 minutes or until all the clams open.
Step 3: Remove the Clams from the pot. Remove the Clam meat from the shell and discard the shell.  Using your fingers press the clam to squeeze out the contents of its stomach.  *It’s the black part*.  Once that is complete with all the Clams, rough chop and reserve.
Step 4: Using a colander lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter strain the clam juice.  This will remove any grit.
Step 5: Reserve the Clam Juice.

Neptune Oyster New England Clam Chowder
Recipe by chef Michael Serpa, Neptune Oyster, Boston

• 1 quart small Prince Edward Island potatoes, peeled and diced 
• 1 1/2 cups celery, finely diced (reserve scraps for stock) 
• 1 1/2 cups Spanish onion, finely diced (reserve scraps for stock) 
• 1 tablespoon minced thyme 
• 1 tablespoon canola oil 
• 4 ounces unsalted butter 
• 2 tablespoons ground salt pork 
• 1 cup all-purpose flour 
• 1 quart whole milk 
• 2 quarts clam stock (see recipe below) 
• 3 cups freshly chopped cherrystone clams (about 36 clams) 
• 1 pint heavy cream 
• Kosher salt 
• 1 bunch chopped flat parsley 
• Freshly ground black pepper 
• 1 quart oyster crackers or saltine crackers

Step 1: Place potatoes in a medium-sized pot with 1 tablespoon salt and cold water. Place on high heat and cook potatoes until they are tender but have a small amount of bite left to them. Immediately strain and run under cold water when the potatoes are ready.

Step 2: In a sauté pan sweat celery, onions and thyme with canola oil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Do not allow to brown. When the vegetables are cooked but still retain their color, remove from heat.

Step 3: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot slowly melt butter. When butter is almost melted add ground salt pork. Render out salt pork with butter over low heat. Do not allow to brown. When salt pork is rendered with butter, add flour and whisk together. Whisk the mixture on low heat until it is well-incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add whole milk. Continue to whisk on medium-low heat. Gradually increase heat to medium. Bring mixture to a low simmer. Continue whisking occasionally. The mixture will begin to thicken. Continue to whisk less frequently, but do not allow mixture to stick to bottom of pot and burn.

Step 4: After about 15 minutes of low simmering and whisking, add Clam Stock to mixture. Whisk. Add celery and onion mixture to pot. Whisk. Add cooked potatoes and fresh chopped clams to pot. Stir with a spoon. Add heavy cream to pot and bring to a low simmer. After 10 minutes of low simmering, taste and season the chowder with kosher salt. Turn temperature down, leave in pot and serve. Garnish with a pinch of fresh chopped parsley and a few turns of cracked pepper. Crush oyster crackers into soup and eat. Serves 12.
(To prepare ahead of time, perform all steps up to adding potatoes. Chill and reserve soup. When ready to serve, heat up soup while stirring, then continue by adding potatoes and so on.)

Clam Stock
• 10 cherrystone clams 
• 2 1/2 quarts water 
• Diced celery and onion scraps

In a medium-sized pot, place 10 washed and scrubbed cherrystone clams, 2 1/2 quarts water and reserved celery and onion scraps. Bring to a simmer until clams open. Take off heat and strain. Reserve.

Who do you vote for?

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