New England family in Colorado needs a good clam chowder recipe.?

I (confidently) consider myself a very good cook,the old man and kids have no complaints:)

The problem is I am not sure where the heck I might be fortunate enough to find little neck clams in the Colorado Springs area.

I have seen alot of recipes that call for canned clams,but honestly,I am a little leary of the canned ones for some reason.Any input would be helpful about the canned clams.

I understand that I am not going to find fresh clams like back home in Massachusetts but are there some type of frozen clams that would be good for a chowder and where would I find them?

Also,alot of Food Network's chowder recipes call for clam base or clam powder.

What are these and how difficult would they be to find,also?

I miss the way the restaurants back home made theirs.

It was always a nice thin broth,not really thick,no bacon pieces,maybe a little bacon flavor but not strong and they all had that same,nice chalky texture.

I know the word"chalky" doesn't sound too appetizing but trust me it was sooo good.

Any help is greatly appreciated....

thanks so much!

2 Answers

  • BBG
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In my experience it's not really the clams themselves that make the is the clam nectar.

    So if you can't get fresh clams where you live, go ahead and try the canned but make sure you also buy some clam nectar (comes in a glass bottle in the same grocery section where you buy the canned clams) and cook your potatoes in the nectar instead of water. Get the good stuff. Some of the cheaper brands are really hit and miss. Taste it before you use it if you want to be on the safe side.

    I have also found that I get pretty good flavor if I cook 3-4 pieces of bacon in a cast-iron dutch oven, remove the bacon and fat but leave the crispy bits at the bottom of the dutch oven. Put in potatoes, nectar, and away you go.

    Of course fresh clams are always best, but it's perfectly possible to make a good NE clam chowder with canned.

    Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    New England Clam Chowder


    5 dozen littleneck clams

    1/4 lb salt pork

    3 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced

    3 tablespoons flour

    3 lbs. red potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4” cubes

    3 cups milk

    3/4 cup heavy cream

    4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

    coarse salt

    freshly ground white pepper


    Scrub clams under cold running water to remove grit and sand. Discard any that don’t close when tapped. Place clams in a large pot with 3 cups cold water. Cover, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and steam until shells open; check frequently and remove clams with tongs as they open, allowing about 5 minutes. Discard any that don’t open. Pour cooking liquid through a fine sieve and set aside.

    Cook salt pork in large pot over medium-low heat until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove salt pork and drain on paper toweling, set aside to use as garnish. Add onions to rendered fat and cook over low heat until translucent, about 20 minutes.

    Remove clams from shells. Roughly chop clams, cover, and set aside. Add flour to onions, stir for 1 minute, then add potatoes, reserved clam cooking liquid, and enough water to cover. Increase heat to medium, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add clams, milk, and cream to pot. Simmer [do not boil] until just heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in butter, season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with reserved salt pork.

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