Winter is way less fun when the holidays are over. What was once all pretty snow and festive parties is now grey skies and unwanted interactions. So why not warm up that cold, cold after-Christmas heart with a heaping bowl of nourishing manila clam chowder. This quick and easy chowder recipe courtesy of chef Tommy Shorthouse of Vancouver’s Fanny Bay Oysters fills diners up with hearty potatoes, carrots, and leeks as well as enough manila clams to see them through to spring.
1/4 pound thick-cut bacon, finely diced
1 small onion, peeled, finely diced
1 small leek, top removed, halved, rinsed, and thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 medium carrot, peeled, small dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
32 ounces clam or fish stock
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cubed
2 pounds fresh manila clams
Chopped chives for garnish
Smoked paprika oil for garnish for those who like it a little spicy
Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, leaving fat.
Add onion, leek, celery, and carrot to pan. Cook over medium heat until softened.
Add garlic, butter, and white wine. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir until combined.
Gradually add the clam or fish stock, milk, and heavy cream, stirring until the pot comes to a simmer.
Add thyme, bay leaf, and potatoes. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are softened. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
Add the fresh clams and cook for 8–10 minutes, until they open.
Serve with chives and smoked paprika oil for garnish.