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Manhattan-Style Clam Chowder

Manhattan-Style Clam Chowder

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Serves 6 to 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a New York Times recipe.

Manhattan-style clam chowder is made with a tomato base for the soup. It also makes use of chopped vegetables. According to one article I read, no one is indifferent to this chowder. They either love it or hate it. I think it’s delicious.

Ingredients:

2 10-ounce (283g) cans clams with juice
1 tablespoon butter
¼ pound (113g) prosciutto, diced (or substitute with bacon)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 large ribs celery, cleaned and diced
Optional: 1 medium-size green pepper, diced
2 medium-size carrots, peeled and diced
2 large potatoes, cubed, Yukon Golds are good
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Optional: Red-pepper flakes, to taste
1 28-ounce (794g) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed or coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
¼ cup chopped parsley for garnish

Directions:

Drain the clams, retaining the broth.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add prosciutto (or bacon) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the meat has started to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the fat, and set aside.

Add onions to the pot and sauté until tender and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 minute. Add celery, (optional green peppers) and carrots. Cook 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and the clam broth. Add the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf. (Add optional red pepper flakes.) Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer until potatoes are nearly tender, about 15 minutes.

Optional: Meanwhile, chop the clams about the size of the meat dice if using large clams. (Small canned clams, such as baby clams, can be used whole.)

When potatoes are nearly tender, stir in tomatoes and raise the heat to return the pot to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Check the potatoes for tenderness and cook longer if necessary.

Add the clams and the cooked prosciutto (or bacon), stirring to combine. Season with black pepper to taste. Raise heat to bring the chowder to a simmer, then remove from the heat and cover. Let stand for 30 minutes to let the flavors mature.

Remove and discard the bay leaf and the thyme twigs. Adjust for salt. Reheat the chowder for serving, garnished with chopped parsley. Serve with oyster crackers.

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