A tradition that grew out of New York’s best eateries, Manhattan Clam Chowder could also be called a shellfish stew, as it is filled with vegetables, thick and luscious. Make this with shrimp or scallops for an interesting twist. Perfect with oyster crackers or saltines, and a small crusty bread with butter on the side. Seriously good eating!
- 2 cans small baby clams (10 ounces each); with their liquid (or 1 pound bay scallops, or 1 pound shelled, deveined shrimp)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions; peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks; trimmed and chopped
- 3 red boiling potatoes; peeled, diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 2 bottles clam juice (to 3 to 8 ounces each)
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 dozen small clams (optional)
- 1/2 Cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes, tomatoes with juice, 2 bottles clam juice, thyme, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just tender, about 30 minutes. Cool and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to a month.
- A few hours before serving, scrub clams. Place in large pot with 1-inch water and cook, covered, over medium-high heat until shells open, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer clams to platter with slotted spoon. Remove clams from shells and discard shells. If not using whole clams, replace with an additional can of clams. Pour clam broth through paper towel-lined sieve and set aside.
- Gently reheat chowder before serving. Remove bay leaf. Add clams and cook 1 minute. If soup is too thick, add reserved clam broth or remaining clam juice until desired consistency. (Freeze leftover clam broth or juice for another use). Stir in parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.
Not only can you substitute scallops or shrimp for the clams, but this glorious seafood stew can also be made with crab, lobster, oysters or many fish, such as tilapia, red snapper or monkfish.
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