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Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
March 2006

Grandma's Guemes Island Clam Chowder

By Nancy Long
caption follows
Pot of chowder. Photo by Nancy Long.

This thin broth chowder is simple and delicious. I have never found a chowder I like better than Grandma's. If you like thick, gloppy chowders or don't want a robust clam flavor, this recipe is not for you.

1/2 lb lean bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces and cooked until crispy
Sauté in 1 tbsp butter and 3 or 4 tbsp bacon drippings, cooking until tender but firm:
2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 fist-size potatoes chopped into bite sized pieces (about 2 and 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
(2 to 4 cloves of garlic optional)
Add 1 pint of clams chopped into 1/4" pieces (easiest to chop while still slightly frozen) Use cleaned clams, clams with the stomach removed and the black tip of the siphon cut off. cook until clams are cooked through but not tough.
Add 1 tall can of evaporated milk
3/4 to 1 cup fresh milk
1/2 to 2/3 cup clam nectar
cooked bacon
1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Heat to serve.
Garnish with 3 or 4 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley.

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