cup dry white wine
5 pounds hard shell clams, such as Manila or little neck
cup rinsed and finely chopped salt pork (rind removed)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 medium waxy potatoes, such as thin-skinned red or white, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
Cook s note: If fresh clams are not available when making clam chowder, skip the first paragraph and substitute the liquid from 4 7-ounce cans chopped clams (setting the clams aside).
Heat the wine in a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the clams, cover, and cook until the clams have opened, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the clams. Remove the clams from the pot, discarding any that are unopened and remove the clams from the shells. Coarsely chop the clams and set aside. Strain the clam liquor through cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel to remove sand and set aside.
Fry the salt pork in a large soup pot or over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the clam liquor, milk, cream, and potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the butter and clams. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Source: The Good Home Cookbook edited by Richard J. Perry
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