I have avoided making clam chowder for the longest time because it scares me. I don't want to steam the clams or do anything scary like that. So this recipe seemed like a nice introduction. It's super-simple and straightforward, as most Mark Bittman recipes are. I used a can of baby clams to cheat and get around the clamminess. I also found some good seafood stock to use, which worked well. We liked this. I wouldn't make it again probably, but it was good and it was a nice introduction to the clam chowder genre.
Low Fat Clam or Fish Chowder
How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, pg.70
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups fish or chicken stock, preferably warmed
24 hard shell clams, shucked and with their juice; or 1 pint undrained shucked clams, cut up if very large; or about 2 cups diced or cut-up fresh delicate white fish, such as cod.
2 cups corn kernels, preferably fresh
1 cup low-fat milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish
1. Place the oil in a large, deep saucepan or casserole and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the onion and potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and the potato lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the stock to the potatoes and onion and cook over medium-low heat until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. (You may prepare the soup in advance up to this point. Cover, refrigerate for up to 2 days, and reheat before proceeding).
3. Add the clams or fish chunks and corn and cook about 5 minutes. Add the milk, then salt and plenty of pepper. Garnish and serve.
Yield: 4 servings