Friday, May 11, 2012

East Hampton Clam Chowder

My buddy Joe was coming over to pick up the firewood that he had cut next door and we invited his wife to come as well and stay for dinner.  The meal was to be your basic grilled shrimp, steak, potato, and salad.  We ate the meal European style by eating one course before preparing and eating the next one – we had done some pre-prep such as the lettuce and boiling the potatoes.

The appetizer was charcoal grilled shrimp with mango salsa.

The salad from home grown lettuces.

We also decided to whip up a soup course of clam chowder with some clams we had in the freezer that needed to be used.  I’d saved the Ina Garten recipe for East Hampton Clam Chowder that Penny had posted over at Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen.  Click the link to her site for some great shots of it - I forgot to take any.

Bev made it per the recipe with one adjustment for my taste that says clam chowder must have bacon so we subbed bacon for some of the butter and, like Penny, we made half a recipe as follows.

2  slices thick bacon, diced
5 T. butter, divided
1 C. chopped yellow onions
1 C. medium-diced celery
1 C. medium-diced carrots (6 carrots)
2 C. peeled medium-diced boiling potatoes (8 potatoes)
3/4 t. fresh thyme leaves (1/4 teaspoon dried)
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 C. clam juice
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 C milk
1 1/2 C chopped clams

1. In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, cook bacon over medium low heat until fat is rendered and bacon is cooked (not crisp).  Add 1 tablespoon butter and melt.

2. Add onion and cook until translucent.

3. Add celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, S&P and cook 10 minutes – stir

4. Add clam juice and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

5. In a small pot, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour.  Cook over very low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Whisk in a cup of the hot broth and then pour this mixture back into the cooked vegetables.  Simmer for a few minutes until the broth is thickened.

6. Add the milk and clams and heat gently for a few minutes to cook the clams.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

It was delicious and will be on the go-to soup list for the future.  The one thing I’ll do next time is chop up our clams a little finer. 

The main course was grilled rib eyes and grilled bacon-wrapped smashed potatoes topped with the garlic butter left from basting the shrimp.

It was all delicious and I liked that the meal was a 2-3 hour event.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  Salads From The Garden

Two years ago:  Mothers Day Supper At Almost Heaven South


4/29/12  meal date


  1. Nice job Larry!
    I to like to make an evening of cooking and eating but everyone else just wants to eat and then go sit in front of the tv. My grandfather used to make the best red chowder you ever tasted. He even harvested all his own clams right from the Indian River in Oakhill Florida.

  2. Great meal Larry. My clam chowder has to have bacon too or it's not New England Clam Chowder.

  3. What a wonderful meal! I joined a CSA this year, so I too will be enjoying fresh and local grown greens for salads. I was going to grill rib eyes this weekend, but weather calls for one of those soaking slow rains for a couple of days. We'll see. I like you European style dining theory.

  4. My family and I went to east hampton on summer vacations all the time and yet I never had clam chowder there. such a shame! This looks delicious!

  5. What a great idea! That way you can eat all day. And drink and share and laugh. Sounds like fun. I need to know more about the potatoes with bacon and garlic butter. Yum!

  6. Wow, what a meal! I always add bacon to clam chowder...but no carrots please. Funny how everyone has such definite tastes about how it should be made. I love leisurely meals where every dish can be savored. Those gorgeous steaks have me practically drooling. A big Happy Mother's day to Bev!

  7. What a meal! I love clam chowder and it must have bacon! Like Cathy, no carrots for me.

  8. You friends will be talking about that dinner for a long time. Everything sounds wonderful. I agree about bacon in clam chowder...that's the way most people in New England prepare it. Funny, I just had mango salsa as well.

  9. I love the idea of making dinner last like that!

  10. What a lovely meal, Larry. It all sounds delicious. I'm sure your friends enjoyed every moment they spent at your table. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Larry, Nothing like a nice 'little' casual dinner. Wow! Looks really good... As for bacon in clam chowder, Laurie and I love clam chowder...lived in New England...and just had one of the best bowls of clam chowder ever...and neither of us remember there being any bacon in clam chowder. Have our memories totally failed us!? Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  12. Now THAT's a meal! Great looking courses, Larry. The steaks were my favorite, of course.


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