Moby Dick – Clam Chowder

(from Moby Dick by Herman Melville)

In Moby Dick, Melville devotes an entire chapter to clam chowder.  When Ishmael and his mate Queequeg,  stay at the Nantucket inn Try-Pots, Ms. Hussey serves them clam chowder.   The meal becomes a representation of friendship, and the meal is symbolic of the impact of learning to appreciate the “little things” in life.

Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 cups medium-diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (6 carrots)
  • 4 cups peeled medium-diced boiling potatoes (8 potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart (4 cups) clam juice
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups chopped fresh chowder clams (1 1/2 pounds shucked clams

Directions:

Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the celery, carrots,potatoesthyme, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 more minutes. Add the clam juice, bring to a boil, and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a small pot, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour. Cook over very low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in a cup of the hot broth and then pour this mixture back into the cooked vegetables. Simmer for a few minutes until the broth is thickened.

Add the milk and clams and heat gently for a few minutes to cook the clams. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Book-apetit!

(Courtesy of http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/east-hampton-clam-chowder-recipe/index.html)

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