Shellfish Chowder

Shellfish Chowder

Serves 8
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe seen in the British TV cooking series, Two Fat Ladies.

I love good clam chowder: It is absolutely delicious when it is made properly. I was intrigued when I saw the late Clarissa Dickson Wright make chowder in the BBC cooking show Two Fat Ladies. So I came up with a recipe. I ramped up this recipe with additional shellfish, and thus the name.

Ingredients:

1 10-ounce can clams; whole or chopped
  The can will have 5 ounces (142g) clams and 5 fluid ounces (148ml) broth
2 to 3 tablespoons butter or oil
5 to 6 ounces (140-170g) chopped onion (about ½ a medium onion)
1 pound (454g) Russet potato; cut into 3/8 to ½-inch (1cm) dice
1 cup (237ml) water
1 8-ounce bottle (237g) clam broth
4 to 5 ounces (110-140g) prosciutto (or serrano ham or cooked bacon); diced small
8 sea scallops (7 to 8 oz./200 to 225g), coarsely chopped
8 large shrimp (about 6 oz./170g) coarsely chopped
Other shellfish, as desired, such as fresh cooked cockles and/or mussels
2 cups (473ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk for a lighter broth)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste, if necessary

Directions:

Drain the clams, but retain the broth in a separate bowl. Set the clams aside until needed.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the chopped onion. Sauté over medium heat until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the diced potatoes, water, and clam broth (bottled and reserved from the can). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked almost tender, about 6 minutes.

Add the prosciutto, clams, other shellfish, and cream. Season with black pepper. Return to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand at least 1 hour to let the flavors develop.

Reheat and taste for salt. Serve as a first course with French bread or crackers.

This chowder will taste even better the next day.

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