Clam and Scallop Chowder

Memories of our time in Boston when we enjoyed Clam Chowder and other delicious seafood …reviewed here Legal Seafood

The weather in Sydney and the purchase of a bag of Cloudy Bay Clams from St Peter’s Fish Butchery in Oxford St inspired me to try to recreate it at home. Not all seafood outlets sell clams in Sydney so you might need to shop around to get them. (Subject to lockdown orders of course!)

After trawling the internet for clam chowder recipes, I cobbled together a few ideas into this recipe which turned out to be delicious.

Watch out because it is more filling than you would expect with just clams, scallops and 1 potato. You won’t need much more than a small bowl, a salad and maybe a crispy bread roll. Leftovers the next day were good though! Recipe would be fine for starters for 3-4 people.

You can’t really go wrong with the combo of cream, white wine, butter and seafood!!

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 600g clam/Vongole in shells
  • 250g scallops chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 leek finely diced (white part only)
  • 1 stick celery finely diced
  • 1 bacon bone (ask butcher)
  • 4 slices bacon, rind removed and finely chopped
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 medium size waxy potato finely diced
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • black pepper
  • 2 cups of cream!
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Method

1. Put clams in large pot, add bacon bone, cover with water bring to boiled, then lower heat and put lid on for 10 minutes or so until clams open.

2. Meanwhile dice all ingredients and keep separately aside. the smaller you dice everything the more “delicate” the end product will be!

3. Remove bacon bone. Strain clams from stock through doubled up paper towel, reserving stock for chowder.

4. Allow clams to cool. Reserve Clam stock.

5. Rinse pot, add bacon and fry until fat renders and bacon is crisped but not brown. Add butter, diced leeks and diced celery. Cook slowly for 5 minutes until leek and celery soften, stirring to stop the mixture sticking.

6. Add potatoes, add the bacon bone back in, mix through, then add white wine to deglaze pan and allow to bubble away for 5 minutes until wine is reduced to about half, making sure potatoes don’t stick.

7. Add 2-3 cups of the clam stock to just cover potatoes, also the thyme and bay leaves and cover, simmering for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are cooked and tender. Add additional clam stock if required.

8. Remove clam meat from shells while mixture is simmering, throw away any unopened clams. Finely dice clam meat. Dice scallops if you haven’t done so as yet.

9. Remove bacon bone. Add clam meat and scallops to mixture, add cream and simmer for 5 minutes until mixture is well heated through. Fish out thyme and bay leaves.

10. Garnish with pepper and chopped parsley and serve.

Boston Legal Clam Chowder

Monday brought a snow storm to Boston and with it the perfect weather for soups and comfort food. We had enjoyed the milder weather over the weekend, making hay while the sun shined and walking the Freedom Trail learning about Paul Revere’s heroic ride to warn the Patriots of the approaching British troops and all about Boston’s contribution to American Independence.

But by Monday we were ready to hole up and take advantage of the weather to try out Legal Seafood down at the revitalised Seafront district for their renowned Clam Chowder. We had been assured by locals that despite being an ever expanding chain,the quality of food and service had remained and that this was the best spot to sample Boston’s acclaimed seafood.

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Located next to the fishermen’s pier and overlooking the harbour, Legal Seafood at the Seafront certainly puts one in the mood for fine dining, although more casual dining is also offered downstairs. This is by no means a cheap eats restaurant but at the same time prices for food and wine are excellent value for the quality and style.

We chose a Deloach Sonoma Pinot Noir, which little did we know at the time of ordering, was developed especially for Legal Seafood to go with their seafood centric menu.

Dinner started on a high note with the complimentary amuse Bouche sent by the chef.

The Clam Chowder certainly lived up to it’s reputation and was deliciously creamy – you can taste the sea in the freshness of the seafood ingredients. As a starter it is certainly filling but not heavy. Beautiful free breads were served at the beginning.

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For mains we tried halibut (rarely found in Australia), and of course lobster. The halibut was served with couscous,roasted fennel and aioli. And the lobster came with a parsnip puree, steamed kale, and one slow cooked beef brisket rib. Both entrees(mains) demonstrated a sophisticated approach to balancing flavours and tastes that “legitimised” for us Legal Seafood’s word of mouth referrals and food critic approvals.

The dessert menu was very tempting but we couldn’t fit it in so we settled for chocolates instead.

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A must try on you next trip to Boston.