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My Best Clam Chowder
November 08, 2010

Very good base recipe but definitely does not warrant five stars. To increase flavor, I substituted clam juice for the water, added bacon grease in leiu of half the butter. The bacon grease, while not exactly healthy, gave the chowder a better flavor (IMPORTANT NOTE: You must let the roux cook down before adding the half and half ~ this will eliminate the flour taste that so many are noting in their reviews). Added 1/2 teaspoon of Bay Seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder for more flavor. Used a mix of chopped and minced clams and substituted 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt for a portion of the 1 1/2 teaspoon regular salt. Stirred only 1 tablespoon of the vinegar into the chowder prior to serving. Topped the chowder with crumbled bacon and a few chives for color. Helpful Tips: For a smokey flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke which adds depth and complexity to the chowder base. Add fresh grilled corn cut off the cob which increases the smokey flavor. Replace black ground pepper with white pepper ~ it has a more delicate flavor than the ground black pepper which can be rather harsh with such a creamy base. Most Important: Do not add the clams to the chowder until you are ready to serve ~ the longer seafood "cooks" the tougher it becomes! Delicious with the changes.

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