Monday, October 21, 2013

WHEN IN NEW ENGLAND...

I spent the last few days in New England enjoying the crisp fall air, the unbelievably beautiful scenery and wonderful people, but forgot to do one thing...chow down on clam chowder!  New England is KNOWN for incredible chowder and I was too busy snapping gorgeous shots like the one above to pick up a spoon and dive in.  On the heels of my colorful drive home (fall trees were at their peak in most areas along our journey) I've decided to power up the slow cooker once again.  While there are many fantastic cook books on our shelves with yummy recipes, the slow cooker just seemed easier on this hectic, manic Monday.

What you need to grab:
20 ounces frozen diced potatoes
1 (11 ounce) can of condensed cream of celery soup
1 (8 ounce) bottle of clam juice
1 cup water
4 slices of bacon
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 (6.5 ounce) cans of minced clams
Salt and pepper

Then..Combine potatoes, soup, clam juice, water, bacon and thyme in slow cooker.  Cover and cook until the flavors meld and potatoes are tender, 4 to 5 hours on low.  Discard bacon (or give to deserving dog). Stir clams and their juice into chowder and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

**one of the keys to this recipes success is the frozen diced potatoes, and the chefs at Cooks Illustrated got the best results when using cubed hash browns, often labeled "Southern Style".  If the culinary expert in you is turning up your nose to that, just trust those who know and stick with the recipe!