New England clam chowder

Recipe from Chef Tim McNulty, The Lobster Pot, Provincetown, MA

Sea clams are larger than littlenecks and are Chef Tim’s preference for making chowder.

1 pound large sweet sea clams, washed and scrubbed
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 pound onions, diced
3/4 pound potatoes, washed, scrubbed, and diced
2-3 cups canned or bottled clam juice
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup light cream

  1. Place clams in a large pot and fill with 2 cups water. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook until shells open, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove and shuck clams (reserving 2 cups liquid), then dice. Set aside.
  2. In a large stockpot, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not brown. Add potatoes, clams, clam juice (including reserved 2 cups liquid), and pepper. Bring to a boil. 
  3. Meanwhile make a roux. In another stockpot, melt remaining 3/4 cup butter. Using a whisk, slowly stir in flour until smooth. Continue to cook over low heat until other pot comes to a boil. 
  4. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and cream over low heat. 
  5. Once pot comes to a boil and potatoes are cooked, slowly stir in roux. Bring soup back to a boil. Slowly add milk mixture and stir until combined. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6.

cook’s note: If your finished liquid from the clams is short of 2 cups, simply add some water until you have enough.