As a native Cape Codder, I was raised on the fresh, bountiful, incredibly delicious seafood of the Cape. I sucked down raw oysters as a toddler without batting an eye and bathed in the juices of lobsters as I cracked them open at our backyard clambakes! One of my all-time favorite seafood dishes is my mother’s homemade New England Clam Chowder and its simple, creamy, salt-of-the-sea yumminess. She likes to use quahogs, hard-shelled clams. These clams are also used to make “stuffed quahogs,” another Cape Cod delicacy (which my mom has also perfected . . . but that’s a post for another time!). Grab your bowls and soup spoons, it’s CHOWDAH time!
Mom’s Quahog Chowder (serves about 8)
8 large quahogs (with their juices)
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 medium potatoes, diced
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
pinch of dried thyme
pint of half-and-half or light cream
2 ½ cups of water
salt & pepper to taste
1. Shuck and chop the quahogs, reserving all juices.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until they are translucent.
3. Add the flour to make a roux. Stir constantly so not to brown.
4. Add water, clam juices, and potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are tender.
5. Add chopped quahogs, thyme, and half-and-half or cream. Turn heat to medium low, so as to barely simmer. Stir for about 5-10 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and serve with oyster crackers.
*HINT: Chowder is best if served the next day (re-heat gently!).
—Thank you for letting me share, Mumma Extraordinaire—Jennie Finn!