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Simple New England Clam Chowder

Simple Clam Chowder
Serves 6ppl

30 Cherrystones Clams
5 Red Potatoes (Or whatever spud is your go-to)
5 Cloves Garlic
1/2 stick of butter
1 Large Sweet Onion
1 Tbs flour
Fresh Black Pepper to Taste
2-3 cups light cream or half and half

Optional add-in
2 ribs celery
1 strip bacon
INSTRUCTIONS:

Traditionally clam chowder used salt pork for the fat. I am less than fond of salt pork.  

Rinse the clams thoroughly and steam the clams with 1-2 inches of water until they open (about 10-15 minutes).

Remove the clams from the pot with tongs put them in a bowl to start cooling down. Leave the clam juice in the pot.

Dice the onion (and celery and onion if using)

Melt half the butter in a pot add the diced ingredients and a couple of twists of black pepper. Cook until translucent or beginning to brown. 

While that is cooking cube the potatoes, do not pre-cook or par-cook them.

Crush the garlic add it to the pot cook for 2 -3 minutes.

Take the pot with the juice and pour all but the last inch of the juice into the pot with the diced ingredients. Add the cubed potatoes. Pouring through a cheesecloth or fine mesh screen is recommended if you have them on hand. 

Cook on medium-low heat for 40 minutes or until potatoes are cooked stirring occasionally. The Starch from the potatoes will act as a mild thickener. 

Make a simple rue, take the remaining butter melt it and add 1-2 Tbs of flour, or skip the rue if you want an unthickened chowder. 

Remove clam meats from the shell and dice. 

Add the cream and the diced clam meats heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally being careful not to let it boil for about ten minutes. 

Serve hot with a loaf of nice crusty bread.