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September 2013



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Starving artists

Starving Artists in the Kitchen--Joseph's "Clam Chowdah"

CLAM CHOWDER, Joseph style!
(In Himself's own words...)

If it’s not obvious by now, I like a high meat-to-other-ingredients ratio in my recipes. This one has LOTS of clams and just enough potatoes to qualify as a chowder rather than cream of clam soup.

The key to this chowder is to get the base cooked and thickened before adding the clams and the Half & Half, and to make sure you do NOT bring it to a boil once you do.

We get huge 51 oz. cans of SeaWatch® clams from Costco and I imagine they’re available at other warehouse-type stores. If not, you can get them online from Spice Place http://www.spiceplace.com/seawatch_clams.php You can also get two 28 oz cans of Royal Crown Baby Clams from Amazon.

Or you can just make do with fewer clams. ;-)

For best results, all cooking is done in a single large pot. We use an ancient French enameled cast-iron pot which you’ve seen here before.  You'll need:

6 strips of bacon, chopped (we get the no-nitrates-or-nitrites stuff–GOOD!)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 celery hearts, chopped
1 lb small red (or blue!) potatoes with the skins on, chopped into ½” cubes (we got the blue ones from our CSA, and they were delicious!)
1 T flour
About 3 lbs of canned clams, drained, 1 cup juice reserved
1 cup milk and 1 cup cream, combined. (or 2 cups Half-and-Half. Straight cream is too rich and straight milk not rich enough.)

Fry the bacon until not quite browned. Drain off all but about 2T of grease.
Sauté the onion and celery with the bacon in the grease for about a minute.
Add the potatoes and sauté another minute.
Mix in the flour just enough to make a sort of roux. Stir in the clam juice and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
Stir in the clams and the milk and cream mixture/Half & Half. Heat to serving temperature without boiling.

If you have crusty sourdough bread to serve with it and you’re not too carb conscious, go for it! Otherwise, this is a great meal all by itself.

Kate's note: And of course, the celery tops or ribs that are too coarse, or any bits of onion or potato you’ve trimmed off will be fine in the next batch of soup stock...we always have some in the freezer, waiting for the next soup...

And also from Kate:

For you artists out there–the view of Port Clyde, Maine was done a few years ago, in watercolor pencils (for my North Light book, Watercolor Pencil Magic, now unfortunately out of print. (You can get my updated and added-to CD, though, on my webpage at http://cathyjohnson.info –check the catalog section!–or on CafePress, here: http://www.cafepress.com/cathy_johnson –there’s more information, more art, and a whole new chapter on the CD!)

The painting itself is available in my gallery blog, here: http://cathyjohnsonart.blogspot.com/2009/03/maine-morning-early.html

And the clams I just added for the recipe! They’re in my journal, and were done with a Micron Pigma pen, 0.5 mm, and watercolor. I used my new Pentel waterbrush, since there’s not much room to work, in here by the computer–I think I like it!

You can see it here–I couldn’t find one without the watercolor pencils to show you... http://www.dickblick.com/products/pentel-aquash-watercolor-crayon-set/

Those clams are making me hungry to look at them!


Oh my this sounds delicious! I have to try it, though I think half the recipe would be about right for me and my mate.
PS I wanted to tell you, of all the apples I've tried so far with the kielbasa-kraut recipe, I like "Cameos" the best!
Thank you, I'll watch for them--don't think I've had Cameos...
It's nice the second or third day, we don't mind reheating!
good point - leftovers enough for another meal are always a boon!



Not only a fabulous recipe -- but the painting Kate -- brilliant!! I love the composition, the wateryness of it -- it's gorgementous!



Thank you, Miss Lin! You're such a doll...