Day 2: Red Clam Chowder!

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Yes, you read the title correctly… Today I made red clam chowder (tomato based)! As difficult as it sounds, I actually had a really great time putting the meal together. Even though I’m not much of a chef, the recipe that I used for the dish was super straight forward and basic. If you don’t remember from a post I wrote a while back, red clam chowder is tomato based and white clam chowder is the white, creamy version. For those of you wondering why I chose red, it’s because I wanted to go with the healthier option.

To be honest, I never actually tasted the chowder once while making it, so I had no idea what to expect at the end, but it turned out really good. The thyme and clam broth really brought out that nostalgic, comforting clam chowder flavor. I hadn’t had it in a long time before trying it just a couple of hours ago, but I knew after that first sip that it was a winner. After cooking it on a low heat for a while, everything got super soft, which felt amazing in my mouth. There was a good balance of ingredients and it wasn’t too salty either. My dad, for the second day in a row, even broke his vegan diet to try some of the bacon.

Most importantly, I think what I took away from today was that cooking isn’t as daunting as it seems. I didn’t make it perfect, and I for sure made a ton of mistakes, but I put a lot of effort into following the recipe step by step and it really did pay off in the end. From an amateur’s viewpoint, the chowder wasn’t bad at all! The recipe says that it takes around 40 minutes, but since I forgot to prepare any of the ingredients beforehand, it was closer to an hour and a half, for me. Yet it was still very relaxing and satisfying to put something together from scratch, especially something that I didn’t see as “simple”. In conclusion, am I recommending this dish? Of course! It may not be as good as what you get on the East Coast, but there is something really cool about making a dish yourself. It’s that feeling of authenticity, of home. And lastly, clam chowder just tastes really good. I’m sure I’ll be eating it for leftovers a ton in the next few days. So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed hearing about my cooking experience, and thanks for reading.

Recipe: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016719-manhattan-clam-chowder

 

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Boiling the clams to open their shells up
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It started smelling real good when we first began cooking the bacon…
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Dicing the celery, carrots, and green bell peppers
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Dicing the clams and the bacon
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Leftover bacon fat used for cooking the vegetables
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Running the “clam broth through a filter
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I had to wear swimming goggles when dicing the onions because my eyes started stinging
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The clam chowder right before the simmering process
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The finished product!
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We got a some French bread to go along with the clam chowder which really helped balance out all of the “soupiness”

4 Comments Add yours

  1. NorCalKenny says:

    Ha, thought you were making Manhattan clam chowder.

    Like

    1. n8chen says:

      Yeah, I get them mixed up all the time…

      Like

  2. Tom Cole says:

    Nate, this looks so good! Did you use both salt pork AND bacon?! If so, I heartily approve. =)

    Like

    1. n8chen says:

      Unfortunately, I only used bacon because it was easier to get at the store…

      Like

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