Sunday, November 29, 2009

Max's Clam Chowder

This recipe was passed down to me today from a good friend of mine,Max Becker (a 04 C.I.A. grad)who I turn to for any advice I need about food!..What a great friend and mentor!..Anyway he has made hundreds of gallons of this soup..he made it daily for a long time and now it's passed to me and when something is made over and over..perfection is bound to happen!.It's the perfect time of year for this dish

White mirepoix:
2 cups white onion(diced)
1 cup leeks(diced)
1 cup celery (diced)
5 to 7 whole peppercorns
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
wrap everything up into a square piece of cheesecloth and tie with butcher twine leaving about 10 inches to tie to the pot
Bacon Roux:
8 strips bacon cut into lardons
1/2 stick butter
3/4 butter
cook bacon until fat is rendered,add butter until melted then add flour until combined,cook until blonde and nutty smelling,about 7 minutes.remove from heat and set aside
1 pound small red potatoes
2 pounds littleneck clams
16 oz clam juice
2 6.5 oz cans minced clams
1 quart heavy whipping cream(scalded)
2 cups water
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp white pepper
1 bunch fresh chives(garnish)
salt and pepper to taste

to start off sweat mirepoix in a heavy pot or dutch oven
add clam juice,water and tie sachet to pot with string and bring to a boil when boiling add potatoes and cook for about 30 minutes.Next add the bacon roux to the pot and stir until combined
let come back up to a boil,then reduce to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.Add scalded cream and canned clams and cook another 10 minutes
in a large skillet add a drizzle of olive oil then add clams
let clams cook for a few minutes then deglaze pan with wine and cover until all clams open about 5 min,remove clams and reduce liquid by half
now add clams and reduced liquid to pot and stir through,cook a few more minutes or until thickened,remove sachet and garnish with chives and maybe some oyster crackers..this dish was outstanding!..thanks again Max!