Clam Chowder 

Clam chowder is a wonderful comfort food all year. I finally started making it for myself. I wouldn't and never have even wanted to know what it tasted like from a can.

I made this recipe on my new (to me) Vermont Casting stove, as I've been cooking all my food on since I got the stove. Only pasta gets cooked on the gas stove now. I like the charm and everything about cooking on top of a wood stove.. Anyway,,,,I could keep talking about the VC, that I just put the second dragon warming shelf on or get onto the recipe. *;)

New England Clam Chowder:

* 2 tablespoons of salted butter
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 large celery stalks sliced to about 1/4"
* 3 tablespoons of flour
* 2 cups of homemade chicken stock (bought IF you have to). Remember, chicken stock is easy to make and freeze and is soooo much better than buying it in a grocery store where it's mostly tasteless water.
* 2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 - 1 1/2 lbs Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
* salt and coarsly ground pepper to taste.

*optional: oyster crackers

This makes about 4 servings. One serving is enough for me for a dinner. Of course this ranges on your appetite, people you're serving or if using for an appetizer or meal. Suggested servings are kind of silly.

Directions: Heat the butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 2 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Stir often. Once the potatoes are done, add the clams and season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes for the clams to get firm. I like to add paprika on top,,,just a thing I like to do. *;) I personally like a lot of oyster crackers with this chowder.

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