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Manhattan Clam Chowder

This is the classic mid-American clam chowder, not to be confused with New England’s version. So controversial was the inclusion of tomatoes to New Englanders that a piece of legislation attempting to ban tomatoes from any true chowder was once introduced in Maine. Fresh clams taste great in the chowder, and leaving them in the shell provides a dramatic presentation. In the interest of time, you can substitute 1 cup canned clam meat and an additional 3/4 cup bottled clam juice for the fresh clam and juice.

From the CIA's cookbook, Gourmet Meals in Minutes.

Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe by The Culinary Institute of America

Ingredients

Makes 2 quarts

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 leeks, white and green parts, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, canned, coarsely chopped
  • 2 white or yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups clam juice
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch dried thyme leaves
  • 3 dozen chowder clams, shucked, chopped, juices reserved
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tabasco, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the leek, onion, carrot, celery, pepper, and garlic. Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 8–10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, clam juice, tomato juice, bay leaf, and thyme.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the clams with their juices and simmer until the clams are cooked, about 1–2 minutes more. Using a shallow, flat spoon, remove any surface fat and discard. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco.
Chef tip: A variation on this recipe is to replace the clams with one pound of lean boneless fish such as fresh cod, Pollock or haddock, cut into a 1-inch dice. Use fish broth instead of clam juice.

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