Are you even an East Coaster if a hearty bowl of chowder doesn’t make your knees weak and your heart skip a beat? I’ve loved clam chowder ever since I was a little girl, and as an adult, I’ve made it a mission to check out the chowder available in each new seafood-loving local I visit.
To me, there’s nothing quite as ‘East Coast‘ as relaxing on the restaurant patio in any New England city and watching a sunset with a warm bowl of clam chowder after a long day whale watching, beachcombing and collecting seaglass.
However, you don’t require a road trip to Maine or a sunset cruise with whales to enjoy a hot bowl of chowder. You can make it from the comfort of home and let me tell you—it’s the perfect dish to enjoy on a chilly day or when you’re craving salty air and the sea.
Because I always like to be a little adventurous in the kitchen, I recently cooked up my own version and this time, I swapped traditional clams for our local favourite—bar clams! Because yes, as a mermaid, I regularly have bar clams just hanging out in my pantry.
I can’t wait to share this recipe with you, as it’s certainly a Richard-Daigle favourite. Let’s get started!
East Coast Mermaid’s Bar Clam ChowderCourse: DinnerCuisine: SeafoodDifficulty: Easy
2 Jars of Bar Clams (save 3/4 of clam juice)
4 Strips of Smoke Bacon Cooked & Chopped into Pieces
4 Small Potatoes, Peeled and Diced
2 Sticks of Celery, Chopped
1 Onion Diced
1-2 Cloves of Garlic Chopped
1 finely chopped shallot
2 Tablespoons of Butter
3 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour
1 Cup of Milk
1 Cup of Light Cream
1 Cup of Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Step One: In a medium to large-sized saucepan, melt butter and add chopped onions, garlic, shallot, and celery. Stir frequently at medium heat for about 4-5 minutes to let ingredients get soft and savoury.
- Step Two: Whisk in flour slowly and add milk, vegetable stock and bar clam juice (about 1/2 cup). Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and be careful that the mixture isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
- Step Three: Toss in your diced potatoes and continue to stir. Allow mixture to simmer until potatoes are soft. This should take anywhere from 12-15 minutes.
- Step Four: Add your 1 cup of cream, as well as your cooked bar clams and simmer about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Step Five: Serve with your choice of toppings, including the chopped smoked bacon. Other toppings could include chives, chopped green onions, parsley or New England oyster crackers.
- It goes without saying, but just in case: Seafood sensitive people should not make this dish
This recipe pairs beautifully with freshly baked, out of the oven biscuits. I used Jillian Harris’ Biscuit Three Ways recipe from her and Tori Wesszer’s cookbook, Fraiche Food, Full Hearts.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of the Bar Clam Chowder. Got a question? You can always DM me on Instagram— this mermaid’s got your back! 💌