National Clam Chowder day. National Soup Month. Freezing temps and snow sweeping across the country. Do I need to give you any more reasons to cook up this hot, delicious clam chowder in a homemade bread bowl? Nope!
This recipe happens to be my Grandma Lucille’s, which I love because it has a hint of bacon in there! But I also love that it’s a family recipe that I can share around the dinner table with own family. I believe family meals are so important for strengthening our relationships, re-connecting, and sharing our day. At the end of this month I have the privilege of joining the Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference in Manhattan. A place where, much like the dinner table, young farmers, ranchers, and their families can come together to learn about agriculture issues, conservation, and strengthening their families and communities. You can learn more at the Kansas Farm Bureau website. I hope I’ll see you there, January 29th-31st in Manhattan.
Grandma Lucille’s New England Clam Chowder
12-15 oz. chopped canned clams, drained (since we live in Ks, I’ve found these to be a good option since fresh clams aren’t readily available)
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
3 celery stalks, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into small cubes, approx 1/2 inch in size
4 cups clam juice (I use bottled)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2cups heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon begins to brown, 6-8 minutes.
Remove all but 1-2 Tbs. bacon fats from pot; add celery, onion, and garlic to pot and cook, stirring often, until onion and celery are softened and translucent, 10-12 minutes.
Stir cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl to form a slurry; slowly stir slurry into chowder base; return to a simmer to thicken.Stir in clams, cream and bacon; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide chowder among warm bread bowls and serve.
2 loves frozen bread dough, thawed, each loaf cut into 4 equal pieces and gently rolled into balls
1/4 cup unsalted butter
8 sheets foil, each one 12 inches long
Fold each sheet of foil into thirds lengthwise; tape ends together to form 8 rings. Place rings onto a greased baking sheet; place dough balls into foil rings. Let dough raise in a warm place until it fills the rings and is rounded on top, about the size of a large softball. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. When slightly cooled, use a small serrated knife to cut the center from each roll to make a bowl, using your fingers to pull out the insides as needed.
Now You’re Cookin’,
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