Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rachael Ray's Clam Chowda'

This recipe is not my best ever clam chowder (you'll have to wait to get that recipe as it's in storage) but it's nice because it's fast (30 mins) and it's tasty. If you don't like it too spicy decrease the hot sauce, although 2 tsp is about right for me. I use dried thyme, substitute evaporated milk for the half and half and use frozen hash browns (because I have that stuff on hand!) and it works great. I like to whip up some biscuits or some kind of quick bread to go with it.

2 tablespoons butter
2 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery with greens, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce, eyeball it
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pint half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock, from soup aisle
1 cup hash brown style raw shredded potatoes, from dairy aisle of the market
2 cans whole baby clams and their juice

In a medium pot over medium high heat melt butter. Add bacon and onions, celery and thyme sprigs. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce and cook 5 minutes. Add flour and cook a minute more.

Add half-and-half and stock and bring to a bubble, then stir in potatoes and clams. Bring soup back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked and soup has thickened to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove the thyme sprigs from the soup. The thyme leaves will have fallen off into the soup. Stir and adjust seasonings in your soup. Pour soup into mugs. Serve with deviled ham and cheese mug toppers.

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