Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What's For Dinner: Corn and Clam Chowder

September is here! And I'm having clam chowder for dinner while listening to Ween's 1997 album, The Mollusks (it just fits). You have to have a certain kind of taste for Ween because they are no other and you'll also require an appetite for seafood; it's the kind of dish that solicits a strong reaction from consumers. People are either devoted to their aquatic affinities or they make retching noises and run away screaming.

I have a passion for seafood which includes all varieties of the afore mentioned album--especially raw oysters. And I love anchovies on my pizza. 


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 slice bacon
  • 1 large onion
  • kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 can chopped clams in clam juice
  • 1 bottle clam juice
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • 1 lb. medium red bliss potatoes
  • 6 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 package frozen corn
  • cooked crumbled bacon
  • Chopped parsley


  1. Place the oil and bacon in a Dutch oven or large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Drain the canned clam juice into the pan (reserve the clams), add the bottled clam juice and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in the milk, then add the potatoes and thyme and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Add the corn and clams and cook until the potatoes are just tender and the corn and clams are heated through, about 3 minutes.
  5. Discard the thyme and serve the soup with crumbled bacon and parsley, if desired.

As you know, I'm a fan of initiating variations on the dishes I make, so I have a few suggestions for a creamier base: use cream (shocking revelation). I love oysters--I loathe oyster stew. The first time I had it, I swore the cook made a mistake. Hot milk soup? I'm retching and running away.

Half and half is a solid foundation for a bisque or in this case a chowder. Bacon and parsley become your garnish but really, you could use anything from homemade croutons (which is suggested) to olive oil, chives, or roasted walnuts.

So I was thinking...

If you wanted to get really fancy with this, you could make a Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit bowl to serve this in. 

Or if not so much, maybe a seafood-themed tureen. I'm obsessed with dishes. Especially crustacean-centered pieces, which is weird since I'm not a fan of the beach.

Giuseppe Dovis makes an affordable blue crab collection as does Emmerson Creek out of Bedford, Virginia.