Clam and Oyster Chowder

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What to do on a less-than-summery day in Cape Cod? Make Clam Chowder!

Traditionally you make it with flour and, apparently, with bacon. But based on the dietary restrictions at hand, we worked around it. I found this recipe from Real Food that we pretty much followed. The differences were:

– We used fresh-caught pre-chopped clams, and fresh-caught pre-shucked oysters, specifically recommended by the guy at the fish counter – some day it will be fun to spend all day steaming and cleaning and not slicing our hands open, but not this time…
– We used fish stock instead of chicken stock.
– We used light cream instead of heavy cream. Wasn’t sold on this idea at the time, and the result was thinner than what I’m used to, but that could have been for many different reasons, and it was actually totally delicious as-was.
– We used cornstarch instead of arrowroot (it’s what we had). Again, it wasn’t super thick so maybe we didn’t use enough? Or who knows. It was fine.
– We didn’t use bacon (as aforementioned) and we were going to add in something else instead, like wine, but we ended up grabbing a Moscato on accident, and I didn’t think that would work out too well so we just skipped it.
– We added a bunch of cayenne, in addition to salt and pepper.
– Scallions for the top – so completely recommended!!
– It certainly didn’t need any additional butter at the end.

I do have some thoughts for next time, though:
– Replace the potatoes with something else (duh) like parsnips, or I was actually thinking cauliflower would make a really good base – and then immersion blend it a bit before adding in the clams, etc., to make it thick and creamy!
– Use heavy cream and less butter. It definitely didn’t need more fat from a taste perspective, but I think I’d switch up the form in which we consumed it.

Also, serving suggestion: garlic bread for dipping. My friends used a crunchy ciabatta toasted with butter and rubbed with raw garlic. And we had roasted asparagus with salt, pepper, and olive oil, on the side.

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