Thursday, April 29, 2010

Creamy Clam and Smoked Sausage Chowder (Gluten Free)

Springtime weather in the Pacific Northwest is kind of schizophrenic. One day, you’re reaching for sunglasses to shield your eyes from the brilliant sunshine, and the next day you’re donning your parka to brave the driving wind and rain. Yesterday, we had sun, rain, wind, hail, then more sun, rain, wind, and hail. Mother Nature is a mystery out here, that’s for sure.

On a gastronomic level, that mystery means that one day you could be craving salad and lemonade, and the next day steaming bowls of soup and hot cider. I’m a year round soup girl anyway, so with the bizarre weather of late, I’ve been enjoying lots of soup.

Chowders are such a great genre of soup. Hearty enough to stand alone as a meal, they are super choice to eat when you want something filling, but not heavy ... if you know what I mean.

Since we are gluten free here, I prepare chowder without flour. I actually find that chowders taste significantly better when not weighted down with flour. A little bit of cornstarch along with real cream provides clean flavors along with a gorgeous consistency.

Today’s recipe is the result of using up some pantry and fridge items I had, including some leftover grilled smoked sausage. The end result was so good. My littlest clam lover ate two huge bowls in a single sitting.

See how creamy it is? Take a look and let me know what you think:

Creamy Clam and Smoked Sausage Chowder (Gluten Free)

3 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
3 large, all purpose potatoes, peeled and diced small (about 2 heaping cups)
Seasoned Salt
½ cup cooked smoked sausage, cubed (ham would be good, too)
3 slices cooked bacon, broken in big pieces
1 8oz bottle clam juice
2 cans chopped clams (not minced)
1 cup cream
½ cup whole or 2% milk
1 scant tbsp corn starch

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over med high heat. Add onions and sausage. Cook gently until onions just start to soften. Next, add the potatoes. Season with seasoned salt.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just starting to turn golden, not quite 5 minutes. Add the bacon, and cook for another minute. Add the clam juice, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Stir in the clams (undrained) and cream. In a measuring cup, whisk the milk and corn starch together, then add to the pot. Continue simmering the chowder for another 5 minutes or until it has thickened up.

Enjoy. Make yummy noises. By the way, this tastes even better the next day.


DayPhoto said...

Once more a delightful recipe from Paula!


The Blonde Duck said...

I don't know if I've ever had chowder!

Marjie said...

Oh, this looks splendid! I love a good clam chowder, and the sausage is over the top wonderful.

Linda said...

I love chowder!! Any kind....I think I'll have to try this next storm;)

Cathy said...

This weather is crazy, isn't it? I love a good clam chowder and have never added sausage, always bacon. But this recipe looks so delish, Paula, and gluten free is a bonus. I'm going to send it to my daughter. Thanks.

Mickle in NZ said...

Yummy-licious!. I agree - taste is far better when I use cornflour (starch) mixed into the milk or another liquid towards the end of cooking then when using wheat flour earlier on.

Confession - I wouldn't use any sort of shellfish though, as my innards have decided "NO" recently. There are always fresh fish to choose from here, especially when freshly smoked. (then I have to include enough to get peace from Zebbycat).

Enough rambling from me - fish and smoked sausage chowder gets a huge thumbs up from me!

Sending care and huggles to all the Gouda Family (including any dogs and all cats),

Michelle and (hooray) a soundly sleeping Zebbycat, xxx and purrrrrumbles

Pam said...

Yum, yum, yum. There is nothing better than a thick and creamy clam chowder.

Jan said...

Take the sunshine out of the equation, and Oregon weather sounds just like British weather. :-)

Souper looking soup.