Friday, November 12, 2010

Grandpa Dave's Clam Chowder

Hi everybody! How was your week? You made it! Happy weekend! I have been crafting like crazy, getting ready for the Pender Island Christmas craft fair next weekend. Just today I started making all of the candy I'll be selling there. I have the filling done for the peppermint patties, some hazelnut praline made (for truffles), and a batch of marbled halva ready to slice! I think I'll have to break into the chocolate tomorrow! So, now that we've discussed dessert, which should always come first, how about some real food?

Here's another Grandpa recipe for you! In case you hadn't figured it out yet, my grandpa is a pretty cool guy! I loved growing up with delicious food all around! Now, I am really enjoying trying all of his recipes myself. This is a good one, so be prepared to bolt for you kitchen as soon as you're done reading!

Grandpa Dave's Clam Chowder
5-6 small slices of ham, if desired (I didn't use any)
3 med. red potatoes (I used 6 tiny yukon golds)
1 bottle clam juice
2-4 cans clams (I only used 2, but do what you like)
1/2 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp tabasco
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
dash of pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cups half and half
2 Tbsp butter
1 carrot, sliced very thin
1 stalk celery, sliced very thin (I would have used this, but I didn't have any!)
3 large cloves garlic, minced

-Saute vegetables in butter until soft.
-Deglaze pan with white wine

-Add potatoes and clam juice

-Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until potatoes are tender. About 15 minutes. Have some wine while you wait!

-Stir in bay leaf, tabasco, pepper, worcestershire, thyme, cream and ham.

-Stir in clams and their juices shortly before serving. Just long enough to heat them through, but not make them tough.

This freezes well!

I decided that it wasn't quite as thick as I like, so at the very end I stirred in a bit of roux. Not really the way it should be done, but it worked! I used about 2 Tbsp flour, and made a paste of it with some olive oil, then brought it all to a boil quickly.

Perfect clam chowder! YUM! Just right for a cool evening. Enjoy!

Question of the day: What is your favorite cool weather comfort food?


  1. It sounds as though you have some wonderful treats to sell for the craft fair! I wish I lived closer. This clam chowder looks like the perfect dish for a cold fall evening.

  2. This looks so good! Recipes from grandparents are always so much better!

  3. My dad used to make oyster stew, which is similar to clam chowder, only with oysters, every Christmas Eve. He's now 91 and in the nursing home. I'll have to make it this year.

  4. I absolutely adore clam chowder. I would love to have a bowl of this right now. The weird quirk though is that I have to have Fritos crumbled on top of it when I eat it. For some reason they fit the flavor perfectly. I'll have to give your Grandpa's recipe a try!

  5. That looks gorgeous. I hear that tinned clams are actually better than fresh for making chowder - tastier as well as more convenient.

    I'll be on the look out for tinned clams as I got a real taste for clam chowder on a visit to New England, and your Grandpa Dave's sounds like a dish I've got to make.