I consider myself a bit of a clam chowder connoisseur, if there is such a thing. For me clam chowder is the perfect fusion of my love of soup and my fascination with anything having to do with shellfish, having spent a good portion of my life in Florida.
Unfortunately, after sampling many efforts at clam chowder over the years, I’ve found they usually fall into one of two categories. They are either a thin, watery concoction that pretends that some sort of seafood was utilized in the preparation, or a gelatinous mess that can only be described as a cross between white Jello and wallpaper paste. (Just pile on the oyster crackers, it will be fine!)
To be fair, I’ve never made clam chowder myself so it’s relatively easy for me to cast disparaging remarks on the efforts of others.
So it is in that spirit that I came across the recipe in the Fall issue that appeared to have what it might take (heavy cream, bacon grease infused onions, etc.) and decided to give it a go with hopes of perhaps coming close to my current all-time favorite, the Friday clam chowder at the Firehouse Grille and Pub in Willoughby Hills.
Armed with the recipe, and with intent to enjoy the chowder while watching some serious football this past weekend, I made the run to my local Heinen’s for the ingredients and proceeded to chop, dice and stir my way to glory. The recipe was straightforward and easy to assemble and within an hour or so there was piping hot clam chowder on my stove.
While I can’t say that my efforts surpassed my Firehouse favorite, I think I gave it a serious run for its money. Too bad the football games didn’t work out quite as well.
If you have avoided making clam chowder because you thought it was too difficult or time-consuming, give this recipe a try. You’ll have an authentic-tasting chowder recipe within an hour or so sure to please avid sports fans and bystanders alike.
Husband of Edible Cleveland contributor/photographer Karin McKenna
Want to give the chowder recipe a try for yourself? Here are all the details: Chowder Recipe