MOBY DICK Clam Chowder
- 500g/18oz clams (weighed in their shells)
- 200ml/7floz water
- 75g/2½oz pancetta
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme
- Bay leaf
- 1tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 waxy potato, diced
- 40ml/scant 3tbsp double/heavy cream
- 10g/⅓oz/2tsp butter
- Lots of cracked pepper and a pinch of sea salt
- Rinse the clams and place them in a saucepan, along with the water. Cover and bring to the boil. Allow to steam for a couple of minutes until the shells have opened – try to resist peeking too often. Once open, drain the clams, reserving the liquid and set aside. When cool enough, remove the clams from their shells.
- Fry the pancetta over a medium heat. It will release its own fat, so you don't need to add any at this point. Remove the pancetta to a bowl, then fry the shallot in the fat left in the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until golden, but keep the shallot moving; you don't want it crisp.
- Return the pancetta to the pan, then add the leaves from the sprigs of thyme, along with the bay leaf and flour. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Strain the clam liquid through a sieve lined with a sheet of muslin or a piece of kitchen towel. Slowly pour it into the pan, stirring constantly so the flour doesn't clump. Add the diced potato and simmer over a medium heat for around 10 minutes, or until it’s cooked.
- Stir the clams through the chowder and allow them time to warm through. Remove the pan from the heat, stir through the cream, butter, salt and pepper. Serve with bread or crackers for dunking.
This recipe is taken from Kate Young's new cookbook, The Little Library Cookbook, out now