Sunday, March 3, 2013

Great Clam Chowda'!

This manhattan style clam chowder is pretty darn good.

For the juicy grilled tomatoes - I preheated an oven to 450 and put them on a rack in the top half of the oven for almost 25 minutes instead of using a grill. My oven is old so that time may be a little long for a good oven.

Juicy Grilled Tomatoes -
4 tomatoes (1 pound), quartered
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes (10 ounces)
1 pint small mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved if large
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Light a grill. Arrange four 12-by-24-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil on a work surface. Mound the tomatoes in the center of each sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil to create tight packets.

Set the packets on the grill and cover. Grill over moderately high heat for about 18 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to soften and burst. Using scissors, carefully cut open the foil packets.

Clam Chowder -
Juicy Grilled Tomatoes (see above)
8 pounds cherrystone clams
Two 8-ounce bottles clam juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Scrape the tomatoes and their juices from the packs into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.

In a large pot, combine the clams and clam juice and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the clams open, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a large bowl. Remove the clams from their shells, coarsely chop the meat and reserve. Strain and reserve the clam broth. Rinse out the pot.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the reserved clam broth, potatoes, chicken broth, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over moderately low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in the chopped clams and season the chowder with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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