January 27, 2014
In 1985 the Indianapolis Junior League published a collection of members’ recipes and called it “Winners”. It was a local cult favorite and copies are still selling for over $50 on eBay. It was full of good and often novel ideas but one recipe accounted for the legendary status of “Winners” more than any other-New England Clam Chowder.
My wife is a talented cook so delicious meals from her do not surprise me.
But as I watched her assemble this soup I could only imagine the culinary joy I was about to experience. Red potatoes, sour cream, lots of spices, clams-lots of clams!
Super Bowl XLVIII is next Sunday and next to the commercials, food is the biggest attraction (the game, of course, comes in a distant 3rd). I’ve decided to invite the Junior League’s chowder to join us for the game, and if you’re a fan of New England Clam Chowder I recommend you consider doing the same. You may even find it more enjoyable than the Doritos commercial!
Spicy Clam Chowder from the Indianapolis Junior League
- (2 slices smoky bacon, diced, then sautéed)*
- ½ cup (1 stick?) butter or margarine
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons seasoned SALT
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 5 (6 ½) ounce cans minced clams, undrained
- 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
- 2 medium red potatoes; boiled, peeled and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
* My addition
Chop and sauté bacon till brown, then remove from pan and save.
Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt and cayenne. Stir until smooth, and then remove from heat.
Add milk all at once and whisk thoroughly.**
Add remaining ingredients (don’t forget the bacon!); simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Note: This is better made the day before. It freezes well.
**There will be a lot of the roux. I removed about a third of it (1 cup) to give myself more control of the texture of the chowder as I prefer it a little thinner. You can always add some back if you want to thicken it up.
Yield: 12 cups
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 1 hour