It’s our wedding anniversary this month and I never know what to get DH – especially with money being tight. He has a pretty easy time of it since I love exotic colored roses. A bouquet of roses like these and I’m a happy camper.
My solution this year is food. There are things he likes that I don’t and therefore very rarely make. I made him Garbanzo Nuts last week which fall into that category. For his anniversary present I made a pot of from-scratch clam chowder. This is a very creamy, mild flavored chowder. It reminds me of a bisque.
I’m not sure what this would do in the crock pot but I’ll play with it over the winter and see what I come up with. Dairy products don’t tend to do too well cooked for extended times. I can tell you that this took about an hour and a half to make with a 3 year old “supervising” 🙂
4-5 strips of smoky bacon
1 c. chopped onion
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. diced carrots
3 c. diced potatoes
3 (6.5 oz) cans whole or diced clams
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 can fat-free evaporated milk
2 cups half-and-half
1 tsp Red Hot
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. Old Bay or thyme (optional)
Cook the bacon until crisp in large skillet. Remove bacon and set aside. Sauté onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and potatoes until tender in the bacon grease
Open the cans of clams and drain the juice into a measuring cup. Add water if needed to make 1 cup.
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour until smooth. Keep stirring and let it cook for another minute or two until it becomes golden brown and has a nutty aroma to it. It won’t look like it’s getting thick but it will work. Add clam juice to the pan stirring constantly.
Add the evaporated milk, half-and-half, potatoes, sautéed vegetables, Red Hot, salt and pepper and Old Bay and bring to a low simmer. If you prefer a thicker soup, add a 1/4 c. mashed potato flakes and stir. If you like it thinner, add more half-and-half. Once you have the soup to your preferred consistency, turn the heat off your burner and add the clams and crumbled bacon. The heat from the soup will heat the clams without causing them to cook and become tough.