Sunday, March 14, 2010
The story behind this "chowdah" as they say in RI, comes from my days of working as a cook at the Rhode Island School of Design. One of my favorite places I've ever worked I might add. During the summer, RISD entered a clam chowder contest in Newport, RI. If you ever get the chance to visit RI, I highly recommend Newport. The big houses along the beach are nice, the bridge taking you into Newport from Providence is pretty cool, the sailboats are a nice sight to see, but the clams, they are amazing. You have to eat at a little clam shack called Flo's, across the street from the main beach in Newport. There are 3 things you must try:
1. Stuffed fiery quahogs
2. The $5 special - Bowl of clam chowder, clam cakes and a cup of beer.
3. The $50 special - 2 hots dogs and a bottle of champagne! (I am going to do this someday when I go back!)
Back to my RISD story - we entered a clam chowder cook off and although we didn't win with our aurora chowdah, the day was a blast! This isn't exactly RISD's recipe, but it is similar and delicious!
2 strips bacon, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 medium sized yukon gold potatoes - diced
2 dozen clams, steamed, juices reserved, clams chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
thyme, salt and pepper to taste
milk - about 2 cups
heavy cream - about 1 cup
1. Saute bacon in stock pot until cooked through. Add 1 tsp butter if needed. Then saute onion until soft. Add potatoes, milk and seasonings.
2. Simmer until potatoes are soft, then mash potatoes a bit with a fork.
3. Add clam juice and chopped clams, diced tomatoes and heavy cream. Simmer for a few minutes longder, do not let boil. Taste, adjust seasonings.