Because of the Labor Day holiday that just passed, I really started missing some of the amazing seafood dishes from New England, where I'm originally from. Since I couldn't get myself Maine "lobstah" or little necks, I decided I would try my best to recreate the famous New England Clam Chowder with the (limited) resources I have here in Hawaii. I know its a cardinal sin to use canned clams when making this chowder which is why its simply "Cait's Clam Chowdah" and NOT "New England Clam Chowdah". I did the best with what I have out here and I hope you all love it :)
Cait's Clam Chowdah
8 slices turkey bacon, diced
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
3 large russet potatoes, cubed
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk (I used 2% because thats what I had at the time)
1 cup clam juice
4 tbsp butter
4 6.5 ounce cans of minced clams
Dice bacon and then cook in large pot until golden brown, add in onions. Allow onions to sweat for 3-4 minutes. Add in chicken stock, water and potatoes. Chicken stock will cause lots of steam, be prepared. Use a wooden spoon to scrape bottom of pot to get all the yummy bacon remnants. Add in Old Bay, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.
Add in heavy cream, milk, clam juice and butter. Lastly add in minced clams and cook on low-medium for 5-10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve with some fresh bread or crackers.
Small note, I ALWAYS use ground turkey and turkey bacon when cooking to try and save as many calories as I can. I know in most cases it probably doesn't make that much of a difference but all the ladies reading probably know you'll feel a little less guilty eating it knowing we saved like 30 calories by substituting turkey bacon. Haha If you guys want to go all out, by all means go with the regular bacon!
I hope you guys all enjoy my homage to the wonderful New Bedford food traditions I grew up with. Email in your questions and suggestions- firstname.lastname@example.org
Aloha Nui Loa!