Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Manhattan Clam Chowder

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This recipe, developed at the Culinary Institute of America, caused me to change my mind about Manhattan clam chowder. I had, for years, scoffed at those who would order it as a soup of preference. I considered it to be nothing more than a vegetable soup into which a bunch of clams had been thrown. I needed to use the last of the canned clams with which I had been working and this recipe read well. I could find no reason not to make it, so I was off to the vegetable bin and chopping block and within an hour had a table ready meal. I was really surprised by how much I like this chowder. That just goes to show it doesn't pay to be a food snob. It would have been a shame not to have tried this. It will never replace its New England cousin but it is good enough to make into my rotation and it adds a bit of food lore to my collection as well. Did you know that legislators in Maine once tried to ban the use of tomatoes in chowder? While I suspect it must have been a slow legislative year, they swear its true. Come to think of it, I've never had Manhattan chowder in New England. Huh! While the CIA recipe, of course, used fresh clams, my exercise for these past few weeks has been to find ways to use the variety that comes in restaurant-sized cans. Two 51-ounce cans can be purchased at warehouse stores for around $12. That's enough clams to make four or five meals for an averaged sized family and that's a bargain by any standards. Here's the recipe.

Manhattan Clam Chowder...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of the CIA

2 slices bacon, minced
2-1/2 cups diced leeks (white and light green parts)
1-1/4 cups diced onion
1/3 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red bell pepper (seeds and ribs removed)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 canned plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 cups diced yellow or white potatoes (peeled)
3 cups bottled clam juice
1 cup tomato juice
1 bay leaf
Pinch dried thyme
3/4 cup canned clam meat + juice from cans (about 3/4 cup) or 3 dozen chowder clams, shucked, juices reserved
Salt as needed
Freshly ground black pepper as needed
Tabasco sauce as needed

1) Cook bacon in a soup pot over medium heat until crisp and browned, about 10 minutes.
2) Add leeks, onion, carrot, celery, pepper, and garlic. Cover pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
3) Add tomatoes, potatoes, clam juice, tomato juice, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add clams with their juices and simmer until the clams are cooked, about 5 to 10 minutes more.
4) Using a shallow, flat spoon, remove any fat from surface of chowder and discard. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Serve in heated bowls. Yield: 8 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Beggar's Chowder - One Perfect Bite
East Hampton Clam Chowda - Family Spice
Slow Cooker Corn Chowder - Creatively Domestic
Oyster Stew - Seriously Soupy
Hearty Cheddar Chowder - The Daily Dish
Potato Chowder - Sweet Basil Kitchen
Fish Chowder - A Thought for Food
New England Clam Chowder - One Perfect Bite
Fresh Corn Chowder - Barbara Bakes
Salmon Chowder - One Perfect Bite


Angie's Recipes said...

Yum yum! I adore the clam, actually any seafood chowder! Yours looks awesome!

Jeannie said...

I'll second that! :D

Ginny Hartzler said...

I have never had clam chowder, but more and more restaraunts are serving it.

Foodiewife said...

I'm one of those Manhattan Clam Chowder lovers. I love the New England style, but this is still my favorite. I'm so glad you tried it, so that you can share the recipe. I'll definitely be making some very soon.

giorno26 ¸¸.•*¨*•. said...

Buongiorno Mary :)
devo dire che questa zuppa ha un'aspetto veramente delizioso... con il freddo che c'è ora in Italia, è proprio adatta !!
Buona giornata :)

Priya Suresh said...

Wat a beautiful looking clam chowder..yumm!

Flavia Galasso said...

I didn't know this MAnhattan chowder..I'm going to taste it...thanks a lot...ciao

Jamie said...

Absolutely love clams but have only made the New England chowder version. I know this is good and yours is more than tempting! And perfect for this cold, wet weather!

Kim said...

I'm having a soup rave right now!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I used to be a die-hard Boston clam chowder fan, but one I tried the Manhattan version, I have a hard time choosing a favorite!!

Unknown said...

It's one of my favorite soups when done right - this recipe looks great! Thanks for sharing it Mary!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

I love MC- I love the tomatoes and often crave them so I truly enjoy a big bowl with some crusty bread-

Claudia said...

I adore Manhattan clam chowder - far more than the cream type - which I thought buried the flavors. I used to order it for lunch at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. As a poor actress, it was filling, warming, delicious and cheap. I am saving this.

Faith said...

Mmm, what a delicious chowder! I love both Manhattan and New England versions and this one looks amazing!

Big Dude said...

This is a kicked up version of the recipe we usually use and will have to use your next time. Hope the trip is going well

Brian Samuels Photography said...

Even though I live in Boston, I grew up in NJ and, therefore, was served both Manhattan and New England Clam Chowder. I have to say, I prefer the tomato base better than the cream. It's a heartier, more comforting (and less filling) soup.

And thanks for including my Fish Chowder on your list there!

KC said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Your blog looks fantastic with recipes that make me want to cook for a change;-)

Valérie said...

Vegetable soups can have so many variations. I can't really imagine the taste of this one (I haven't had chowder in forever), but if it was enough to convince you, it must be something!

Eileen said...

Interesting. I have always been a bit of a New England clam chowder snob myself, but this looks pretty easy so I might have to give it a go.

Ana Powell said...

Beautiful clam Chowder ♥

Joe Ambrosino said...

Nice recipe,Mary.I make a version of this sans bacon and clams with fish fillet and shrimp.

Elsa said...

This looks delicious! I love clams.

kitchen flavours said...

I love clams in almost anything! This chowder looks really delicious!

Barbara said...

I've never liked this version of clam chowder....I'm a white chowder fan. But if you say it's good, it must be!

pigpigscorner said...

I love clams but it's so hard to get hold of a large amount here. This sounds wonderful!

stephen said...

Great recipe with a brilliant history! Tasty treat indeed :)

My Little Space said...

Gosh, finally, you can have something like this back home!
Hope you're having a great day.
Blessings, Kristy

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