Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bright Lights, Big City -- Manhattan Clam Chowder

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!


Cheryl said...

Am I having de ja voux or however the heck you spell it? That sounds familiar, LOL. Looks amazing in any event!

Manggy said...

What a coincidence! I just had this at the neighborhood diner two nights ago :P It was delicious and I do love the big clam bits too! (Actually I didn't know the difference in chowders before I ordered it, so I was afraid I might get something too heavy.) Yours looks even better! :)

Marjie said...

I'm a New England Clam Chowder girl myself, although I could not refuse if you offered me some of yours. It looks great, and, being a New England girl, I love clam anything! When my oldest son was little, he used to call linguini in white clam sauce "clammy noodles". I guess I like clams more than I know, eh?

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never had it, but it looks good!

Come visit me at www.aduckinherpond.com.

Deborah said...

I've never had Manhattan clam chowder, but this makes me want to try!

Lynda said...

I have not tried clam chowder, but yours looks so enticing with all those veggies.

OhioMom said...

I love love love clam chowder, either version is okay by me :)

noble pig said...

I love a good chowder...love it! This is gorgeous...the color is fantastic.

Bridgett said...

My husband would flip if I made this as he is a fan of both versions of clam chowder and I have yet to make any in all the years we have been married. How awful is that? Looks like I need to get moving. Yours looks so warming.

Esi said...

I love clam chowder, but I have only ever had the white one, now I am convinced to try the Manhattan variety

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i love to see the whole array of ingredients in one photo and that chowder looks perfect. i must make a list of food i wish to try if ever i get to the states (clam chowder is something i know from my american friends)

Pam said...

I've only had the white clam chowder, I'll have to give this a try!

Katherine Aucoin said...

I've been wanting to get a recipe for Manhatten Clam Chowder and yours looks and sounds so appetizing! I hadn't heard of Manhatten Clam Chowder until a couple of weeks ago. This look so much tastier New England Clam Chowder.

Anonymous said...

Oh Paula you did this for me didn't you? Thanks so much!

Bellini Valli said...

I enjoy both types of chowder:D I am not fussy:D

Aggie said...

Paula...I've been wanting to make a clam chowder just like this. I have some leftover fish stock in the freezer to use up...I will be making this soon! Looks delicious!

Grace said...

although i don't like clams at all, i can tell you with absolute certainty that i'd like manhattan's version better. more stuff to cover up that texture... :)

Lo said...

LOVE clam chowder. I think I opt for New England more often than not, but yours is definitely tempting me.

Having a huge craving now!

Pam said...

I recently wanted to make this but decided (with my kids urging) to make New England. Now I really want to try this version - it looks and sounds wonderful Paula.

Maria said...

I love clam chowder! Yours looks wonderful!!

Peter M said...

Ahhh, the other clam chowder...it gets short shrift and it's just as enjoyable as the cream one.

Jan said...

I have only ever had the creamy chowder which I really like, but I must give this a try. It sounds easy to make and looks delish.

Kevin said...

I can't believe that I still have not tried a clam chowder! It looks really good!

Paula said...

Hi Everyone! Hope you've been having a good week!

Cheryl: The chowder tasted as good as it looks!

Manggy: I love neighborhood diners! How cool that you just had a chowder!

Marjie: Clammy noodles ... love it! I could use a good recipe for linguini in clam sauce. hint hint :-)

Duckie: The members of the pond will have to give chowder a try!

Deborah: It's really good, especially if you have a hearty bread to dip in the broth at the bottom of the bowl. How's the baby?

Lynda: It is really, really good and a great recipe if trying chowder for the first time.

Ohio Mom: Me too! I could eat either one.

Noble Pig: Thanks! It looked even better in person.

Bridgett: You and your hubby can come on over and I'll whip up a yummy chowder! :-)

Esi: It really is a great chowder to try!

Med Kiwi: There are sooooo many different chowders to try, this one is a good place to start!

Pam: I love both versions! This is so good especially with a hearty slice of bread to dip in the broth!

Katherine: I grew up eating the Manhattan version, and tried the New England version when I was older. Love 'em both!

Prairie Runner Linda: :-) I aim to please! This is a great basic recipe. You could use clams in the shell, if you prefer.

Bellini Valli: I'm with you ... both taste good to me!

Aggie: I'm so impressed you have fish stock in your freezer!

Grace: Too bad clams don't really go with cinnamon! :-)

Lo: I love all the chowders ... including one with crab!

Pam: My littlest girl loves soup and she gobbled this up. I bet she'd gobble the N.E. version, too!

Maria: Thanks, it's really good!

Peter: I love this soup, and I loved the dish you posted today with the red snapper!

Jan: When your month of liquid food is behind you, this soup will tickle your tastebuds back to life!

Kevin: This is sooo good and is a great introduction to the world of clam chowder!