I've wanted to make clam chowder lately. It just sounded good and made me think of the beach (where I really wish I lived!). Last month I had my daughter pick up a small packet of baby clams but it wasn't until this month that I actually made it and it was delicious!
It's actually more potato soup than clam but then, I'm not a huge fan of clams so it was perfect for us! Plus I like easy recipes so this is how I threw together a pot of clam chowder for us tonight.
Baby clams (small package unless you love the flavor of clams, then use more. I drained the small amount of clam juice out and did not cook with it for less fishy flavor)
4 to 5 medium-sized potatoes (microwave with their skins on the day before and then refrigerate until ready to use), peeled and diced
6 tablespoons of butter (it won't taste the same with margarine or oil)
1 medium-sized onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, finely sliced or chopped
1/2 cup finely diced zucchini
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon seasoning
1/2 teaspoon EACH pepper, garlic salt (optional, use to taste)
2 cups milk (use what you have, I used 2%)
1/4 cup dry instant mashed potato flakes (Optional)
Melt half the butter (three tablespoons) in a large pot, add the diced onions, celery and zucchini and sauté until cooked through. Add the chicken bouillon seasoning, the pepper and garlic salt.
Add the rest of the butter and sprinkle the flour on top of the onion, celery and zucchini mixture. Stir the flour into the vegetables. Don't let the butter burn, slowly add the milk and stir frequently. You may have to adjust the temperature of the stove up a little.
Add the diced potatoes and the clams. Cook, stirring often until it comes to a boil and starts to thicken.
If it is not thick enough for you, you can use the dry mashed potato flakes to thicken the chowder by stirring it into the chowder.
Serves four to five people one bowl of chowder each.
Serve with buttered French bread and call it a meal. Serve it before your fish dinner (broiled salmon, rice pilaf and veggies) and call it an appetizer.