Cooking Tips & Hints
                 Week 77 Featured Recipe
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(click for printable version of this recipe)
After last week’s salute to the Green Bay Packers, I chose this recipe for the New England Patriots. The flavor in this chowder can compete with any I have ever tasted.
• Large Saucepan
• Cutting Board
• Knife
• Slotted Spoon
• Potato Masher
• Rolling Pin (not pictured)

• 4 slices bacon, chopped fine
• 1 onion, chopped fine
• 24 oz clam juice
• 2 cups water
• 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled
  and cut into ½" pieces
• 20 saltines, crushed
• 1 tsp minced, fresh thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 lbs chopped clams, rinsed, drained,
  chopped fine
• 1 cup heavy cream
• Salt & pepper


PREPARATION: Cook bacon in large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, appx 6 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tbsp fat from saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium heat until softened, appx 5 minutes. Stir in clam juice, water, potatoes, saltines, thyme, and bay leaf and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender appx 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer ½ cup potatoes to small bowl and mash until smooth. Return mashed potatoes to pot. Reduce heat to low. Stir clams into pot and simmer until cooked through, appx 3 to 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in cream. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.

HINTS: I used 3 cans of baby clams and left them whole since I could not find any fresh clams in my area. I used the juice from the clams plus 1 8 oz bottle for the clam juice. I put the saltines on waxed paper before using a rolling pin to crush them. This made handling them much easier. The crackers are an old-time method for thickening sauces so you don’t get that “pasty” taste if using flour and I was amazed at how well they worked! I found I did not need to add any salt since the crackers, bacon & clam juice was enough.