Last night, the Boston Red Soxs won the World Series. This got me thinking of my father. He was born and raised in Boston. Unfortunately, he never go to see his home town team win the Series. So to honor the Red Soxs and my dad, here is a recipe for New England Style Clam Chowder. Most clam chowders are bland. But this one has more flavor that the traditional ones.
3 8-ounce bottles Clam Juice
1 pound Russet Potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) Butter
3 slices Bacon, finely chopped
2 cups chopped Onions
1 1/4 cups chopped Celery with leaves (about 2 large stalks)
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
6 6 1/2-ounce cans chopped Clams, drained, juices reserved
1 1/4 cups Half and Half
1 teaspoon Hot Sauce
1 teaspoon Thyme
Bring bottled clam juice and potatoes to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, half and half, hot sauce, and thyme. Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before serving.)