Do you like clam chowder? There are zillions of different types of chowder, and for the clam varieties, the two most well known versions are the creamy New England Clam Chowder and the tomato-y broth based Manhattan Clam Chowder.
Continuing on my culinary travels, I wondered how the different versions came to be, specifically for the Manhattan version. The bottom line ... who knows? There are many different theories behind who has the claim to fame creating Manhattan Clam Chowder, but no one knows for sure. What I do know for sure, however, is that this is a great chowder and really, really, REALLY easy to make.
Here’s the recipe I used from Better Homes and Gardens. For the ingredients, you will need:
2 6.5 oz cans of minced clams (I used chopped ones – bigger pieces)
2 slices of bacon (I used three because my bacon strips were center cut and smaller)
1 cup chopped celery (about 3 average size stalks)
¼ cup chopped carrot (one carrot)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 8 oz bottle clam juice or chicken broth (I used clam juice)
2 cups cubed red potatoes (I used this amazing Red Gold variety)
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained.
1. Drain canned clams, reserving juice.
2. In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels; crumble Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pan. You can add a little bit of olive oil if you don’t have enough drippings.
3. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add celery, carrot, and onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in the reserved clam juice as well as the bottled clam juice. Stir in potatoes, thyme, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in clams, bacon, and undrained tomatoes. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through.Isn’t it gorgeous!Take a bite. Mmmm ... good! Having never been to the bright lights, big city center of Manhattan, I have no idea if this graces many menus. Much lighter than it’s New England creamy cousin, it is surprisingly very filling, too.I like the bigger clam pieces, and how that tiny bit of cayenne lingers after each bite. There is no salt in this recipe in part due to the canned ingredients; however, feel free to season after cooking as you see fit. Oh, and this is gluten free, all the way baby!