Recipe Clear Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Mountain Cat

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Being a proper New Englander (by residence, not by birth), I’m not really a fan of Manhattan clam chowder… I guess in part because the only good tomato-based soup (to my taste buds) is a good chunky chilled gazpacho.

I’ll do the New England cream-based clam chowder instead, but I find it a bit heavy, so give me that ole time Rhode Island clam chowder! Done right, it hits the spot. I was pleased to discover my recipe tastes extremely similar to the good RI clam chowders served in Rhode Island.
ri-clam-chowder-1.jpg

A clear Rhode Island clam chowder with potato, onion, celery, bacon and seasonings. Oh, and clams!

Done wrong, the base broth tastes like tepid bath water with a bit too much salt added.
Quahog clams are traditional, but not essential. Cherrystone clams are actually the same species of clam, but just smaller. I use what i can get.

Salt pork is traditional, but I only had bacon – granted, it’s local pastured bacon, so I hope that counts…. but if you can, find some salt pork!

Prep Time: 15 minutes, make bacon while prepping the rest.
Cook Time: Soup cooks for 20 min.
Rest: Not necessary but a few minutes will boost flavor melding.
Serves: 3-4.


Clear Rhode Island Clam Chowder
  • 175 grams / 6 ounces raw quahog (or cherrystone) clams, minced – this is how I bought them, you can cook the clams up yourself from within the shell… add more time…
  • 3 – 4 slices bacon, fried crispy, or 1/4 pound salt pork, diced.
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 skinny celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 – 1 large Yukon potato, diced about 1/4 inch segments. (You can use other potatoes, peeled or not as you see fit, although I suspect Russets would be best peeled.)
  • 16 ounces clam juice plus 1/4 cup water (best yet, make your stock from a mix of crustacean shells, a little clam juice, and white fish heads and backbones, removing the gills - which are bitter.)
  • ½ cup dry white wine (no alcohol preferred? Add that amount of water with a splash of white or cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • Optional pinch to 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or serve a hot sauce on the side when presenting the soup)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional scattering of fresh chopped parsley (I didn’t have, so I used chopped scallion greens).
  • DO NOT ADD EXTRA SALT!
  • Optional oyster crackers, served on the side.
I am going to assume you’ve already prepped your clams, or bought them diced and raw. If not, chop coarsely.

Separate them from the broth, you can buy bottled or jarred clam broth. If it’s concentrated, you’ll need to dilute a little with water due to the salt being concentrated as well. (I have also made my own shellfish broth using shrimp, lobster, and various bivalve shells, but you don’t need to do this; However making your own will be far superior. If you make your own, do this in advance.)

Fry up 3-4 slices of bacon as per usual methods, you can let them get as crispy (not burnt) as you want. Or, pan fry the salt pork, until corners just get a bit brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet, and pan fry the onion, stirring occasionally to get up any lovely bacon/pork fond.

Put all the liquids (juice, water, wine) into a sauce pan. Add the potato and onion. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the celery and bacon/salt pork, and all the seasonings except the parsley or scallion

Simmer 15 minutes.

Add the clams if raw. Let return to a boil and simmer another five minutes.

If already cooked, add them now, then let this return to a boil and simmer no more than 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Adjust seasonings by taste.

Add the parsley or green onion just prior to serving — you may want to let the soup rest a few minutes so the flavors can meld further.

ri-clam-chowder-2-logo.jpg


Enjoy a bowl!
 
Last edited:

JAS_OH1

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That looks really, really tasty. I just made a seafood stock this afternoon using lobster claw shells and shrimp shells. So many recipes I have seen call for a bunch of veggies as well. I just do mine with seafood only, I think you do as well? Anyway, nice job!
 

GadgetGuy

(Formerly Shermie)
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Brighton, MA.
Being a proper New Englander (by residence, not by birth), I’m not really a fan of Manhattan clam chowder… I guess in part because the only good tomato-based soup (to my taste buds) is a good chunky chilled gazpacho.

I’ll do the New England cream-based clam chowder instead, but I find it a bit heavy, so give me that ole time Rhode Island clam chowder! Done right, it hits the spot. I was pleased to discover my recipe tastes extremely similar to the good RI clam chowders served in Rhode Island.
View attachment 50800
A clear Rhode Island clam chowder with potato, onion, celery, bacon and seasonings. Oh, and clams!

Done wrong, the base broth tastes like tepid bath water with a bit too much salt added.
Quahog clams are traditional, but not essential. Cherrystone clams are actually the same species of clam, but just smaller. I use what i can get.

Salt pork is traditional, but I only had bacon – granted, it’s local pastured bacon, so I hope that counts…. but if you can, find some salt pork!

Prep Time: 15 minutes, make bacon while prepping the rest.
Cook Time: Soup cooks for 20 min.
Rest: Not necessary but a few minutes will boost flavor melding.
Serves: 3-4.


Clear Rhode Island Clam Chowder
  • 175 grams / 6 ounces raw quahog (or cherrystone) clams, minced – this is how I bought them, you can cook the clams up yourself from within the shell… add more time…
  • 3 – 4 slices bacon, fried crispy, or 1/4 pound salt pork, diced.
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 skinny celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 – 1 large Yukon potato, diced about 1/4 inch segments. (You can use other potatoes, peeled or not as you see fit, although I suspect Russets would be best peeled.)
  • 16 ounces clam juice plus 1/4 cup water (best yet, make your stock from a mix of crustacean shells, a little clam juice, and white fish heads and backbones, removing the gills - which are bitter.)
  • ½ cup dry white wine (no alcohol preferred? Add that amount of water with a splash of white or cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • Optional pinch to 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or serve a hot sauce on the side when presenting the soup)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional scattering of fresh chopped parsley (I didn’t have, so I used chopped scallion greens).
  • DO NOT ADD EXTRA SALT!
  • Optional oyster crackers, served on the side.
I am going to assume you’ve already prepped your clams, or bought them diced and raw. If not, chop coarsely.

Separate them from the broth, you can buy bottled or jarred clam broth. If it’s concentrated, you’ll need to dilute a little with water due to the salt being concentrated as well. (I have also made my own shellfish broth using shrimp, lobster, and various bivalve shells, but you don’t need to do this; However making your own will be far superior. If you make your own, do this in advance.)

Fry up 3-4 slices of bacon as per usual methods, you can let them get as crispy (not burnt) as you want. Or, pan fry the salt pork, until corners just get a bit brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet, and pan fry the onion, stirring occasionally to get up any lovely bacon/pork fond.

Put all the liquids (juice, water, wine) into a sauce pan. Add the potato and onion. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the celery and bacon/salt pork, and all the seasonings except the parsley or scallion

Simmer 15 minutes.

Add the clams if raw. Let return to a boil and simmer another five minutes.

If already cooked, add them now, then let this return to a boil and simmer no more than 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Adjust seasonings by taste.

Add the parsley or green onion just prior to serving — you may want to let the soup rest a few minutes so the flavors can meld further.

View attachment 50801

Enjoy a bowl!

I prefer the ones that are made with milk or cream.
 

Mountain Cat

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Joined
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7:03 AM
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Hilltowns of Massachusetts
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goatsandgreens.wordpress.com
Yeah, for us it was taught in general math in the 3rd grade. In the 3rd grade, we had one teacher for all subjects. The first time I had a science teacher was 5th grade, I think, and in science we only used metric measurements. I remember at one point in my childhood it was discussed that Americans switch to the metric system. They started putting metric measurements on Coke bottles along with the quart measurements, and eventually changed Coke bottles to plastic 1 liter and 2 liter bottles. That's how I know that a 1 liter is 33.6 ounces, LOL. And when it comes to weights, I remember learning in the late 70s that a kilo of pot is 2.2 pounds, an ounce of pot is roughly 28 grams, and of course the 1/4 ounce bag is 7 grams, not including baggie weight... :laugh:

Edited for a typo...not enough coffee before posting.
That looks really, really tasty. I just made a seafood stock this afternoon using lobster claw shells and shrimp shells. So many recipes I have seen call for a bunch of veggies as well. I just do mine with seafood only, I think you do as well? Anyway, nice job!

Yes, usually just seafood - although occasionally a small or medium onion may end up in the stock. Thanks!
 
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