Today its windy and cold and it’s absolutely perfect because its National Clam Chowder Day. Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of warm soup — with a generous chunk of breads or some crunchy crackers along for the flavor ride?
At all local Anthony’s you can score a free cup of clam chowder with purchase of an entrée. At Seattle’s Six Seven Restaurant and Lounge in the Edgewater Hotel you can try chef Jesse Souza’s award-winning New England chowder while taking in the waterfront view. At Duke’s Seafood & Chowder you can enjoy all of their chowders, minus gluten! We like the sampler there — so we can have our New England style chowder fix and try the other chowders on the menu, too. The chef at Six Seven shared their award-winning recipe in case you want to celebrate at home tonight.
Six Seven Clam Chowder Recipe:
- 2 dozen cherrystone clams, scrubbed
- 3 quarts water
- 2 each large leek, washed and diced
- 1 head fennel, diced
- 6 stalk celery, diced
- 3 large Yukon potato, peeled & diced
- A quarter pound good quality bacon, diced
- 5 to 6 sprigs thyme, leaves only, chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Butter and flour as needed
Directions: Combine clams and water in large pot and simmer/steam until clams open; remove clams (discard any that do not open) and strain clam broth. When cool, remove clams from shell and rough chop. Return pot to stove and add 2 tablespoons butter; add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon and bacon fat. Add 3 tablespoons fat back to pot (reserve remaining fat for roux) and sauté leek, fennel, and celery over medium heat. Season well with salt. Add potato, clam broth, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. While chowder comes to a simmer, combine equal parts bacon fat/butter and flour and cook over low-medium heat to make a roux. The roux should cook slowly for at least ten minutes and develop a nutty aroma and golden color. Stir regularly to avoid scorching. Remove from heat.
When potatoes in chowder are just beginning to be tender, add clams, cooked bacon, chopped thyme, and heavy cream. Season again with salt and fresh black pepper. Bring to a simmer and begin to thicken with roux, adding small amounts and whisking gently until incorporated. Add roux until desired thickness is achieved, then simmer gently 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives and serve with fresh bread, oyster crackers, pepper grinder, and hot sauces.