Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Creamy Clam Chowder (Gluten Free)

photo courtesy of Clara @ SixFoodIntoleranceLiving

Last fall I posted my favorite recipe for Hatteras style clam chowder, a chowder without cream.

I love that Hatteras chowder, it's simple to make and so delicious on a cold day.

But I also love creamy chowder. I'm a sauce girl. I always have been. I grew up eating hamburger gravy over toast for breakfast, fried pork chops with pan gravy, creamy potato soup when I was sick, turkey gravy over dressing at Thanksgiving (you can have the turkey... I just want the pan drippings for a good gravy!!), etc... so I would be fooling you if I didn't say that I love cream soups.

Unfortunately my husband does not like seafood. Yes, he'll eat fish sticks or fried shrimp, but that's about the extent of it. So it's not something we make around here very often.

When my husband and I went to the coast for our anniversary the one thing I wanted was a good bowl of creamy clam chowder. The second day we were there I had some amazing clam chowder for lunch. I decided I had to figure out how to make it at home.

I browsed the internet and several cookbooks for ideas and eventually came up with our recipe.

It's quite good. I shared the recipe on our Gluten Free Recipe Swap Group (please join if you haven't! Everyone is welcome!), and Clara from Six Food Intolerance Living, wondered if she could make the chowder not only gluten free, but casein free as well. We thought it was a great idea and soon Clara reported back that she had not only made the chowder using coconut cream instead of dairy cream, but had also made the chowder using hemp milk. She said her husband loved her casein free version of the chowder, even though it contained coconut! So, if you cannot use cream or milk, try using coconut cream, or hemp milk for a successful gluten free, casein free chowder!

Creamy Clam Chowder
(New England Style)

3 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup clam juice
2 cups FINELY diced potatoes
1 (6-10 oz.) can minced clams WITH juice
1 cup cream (or half and half)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
**1-2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)

In a dutch oven or large stock pot, melt butter. Add diced bacon. Cook until
bacon is browned and crispy. Add chopped onions, salt, pepper, and Old
Bay Seasoning. Cook 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add clam
juice, clams WITH juice, and diced potatoes. Cook for 10-15 minutes
until potatoes are cooked and are fork tender. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes within the pot. (This will help to create a creamy texture
for the soup.) Add cream to soup and heat through. If you like your
chowder thicker mix 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of
water and add to chowder. Cook 5-8 minutes to thicken soup. Makes 4
large servings.

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** Many thanks to Clara for sending me a picture of her version of this wonderful chowder!
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