Razor Clam Chowder
Handley’s 2016 Recipe Contest 3rd Place Winner
By: Arthur & Nancy of Cora, Wyoming
½ c finely chopped celery hearts
2 c half and half, heavy cream if you wish.
1 lb. of shelled fresh or fresh/frozen razor clams, with as much liquid as you can extract. You should end up with 2 cups of chopped raw clam meat. (If all you have is canned razor clams, leave them in the cupboard and have something else for dinner.)
3 T salted butter
3 T all purpose flour
2 T dry parsley flakes
1/2 t Hungarian paprika
1 large bay leaf (Leave it in the mix. Whoever gets it has to do the dishes)
1 c cubed potatoes, about ¼ inch, drained, reserve the liquid. Canned potatoes will work here. (Remember this is not potato soup. Don’t overdo the potatoes)
Several grinds of black pepper, more to taste.
Salt to taste. Your clams may bring salt on their own.
A squeeze of fresh lemon.
3 T fresh chopped parsley
4 strips of bacon (leave it in the refrigerator, fry it up for breakfast the next morning if you want. Don’t put it in the chowder)
If using raw potatoes, cover with water and cook until done but still firm. Cube the potatoes, keeping your pieces small, about ¼ inch. Reserve the cooking water from the potatoes.
Sweat the celery in the butter on medium heat. When celery is soft and translucent, gently sift the flour into the butter and celery, stirring constantly. Use a whisk if you wish. Allow this roux mixture to brown just a bit. Slowly add the half and half, stirring constantly. Your mixture should become fairly thick at this point, whisk in a bit more flour if needed. Add potatoes.
Add all the juice from your clams and finish out with cooking water from potatoes or liquid reserved from canned potato cubes, with liquid added at this stage totaling about a cup. It can be a bit thick, since the clams will bring some moisture when they are added.
Add dry parsley, paprika, and thyme. Grind in some black pepper. Stir this all in well.
Prep your bowls and your diners for serving.
Bring your chowder mixture to a low boil on medium heat. When it just starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and add the clams. Stir well. Add a light squeeze of fresh lemon, about a teaspoon. Allow clams to poach lightly in the mixture, about three minutes. Do not overcook. Serve immediately in warmed bowls, garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Makes 4 servings.