Or in non-Rhode Island speak, have you eaten yet? Yep, it’s state night and we’re sticking with our “island” theme for the week. Okay, it’s not an actual island as Mr. N now knows, but we’ve already done Hawaii, and besides we miss New England.
As for Rhode Island, well we knew right away what meal we’d whip up for this adventure. Any guesses?
Alright, how many of you guessed Rhode Island Clam Chowder? If you did, yay! You’re right. Now, how many of you knew that Rhode Island Clam Chowder is not a red chowder, not a white chowder, but traditionally a clear broth chowder? That’s right, tourists often go for and favor the traditional New England white clam chowders, but Rhode Islanders can be found digging in on a version that puts the clams center stage.
Now a true Rhode Island Clam Chowder uses quahogs, but we couldn’t find any so we’re making due with chopped canned clams in clam juice.
If like us, you have to go the canned clam route, make sure to get them in the juice. You’ll need that for the broth, but we’ll get to that in a bit. First we started by heating a bit of butter and olive oil in a large stock pot. Next we gathered our chopped onions, celery and fingerling potatoes.
After about eight minutes, when the veggies were softened and bacon a bit crispy, we added in the potatoes, clams, clam juice and some dried thyme. We then added enough water to just cover the ingredients.
We brought the chowder to a boil, covered and simmered it for about 30 minutes. We then scooped out the soup and served it with a bit of fresh ground pepper and a side of toasted bread with sage pesto.
And there you have it, the traditional, clear broth, Rhode Island Clam Chowder – a 40 minute meal. The results of this recipe totally surprised us. We were a bit nervous that the clams would be too over-powering for the kids, and as I mentioned to Kelly yesterday, I’m not big on chunky soups (she posted one that might convert me though). The kids, however, both ate their soups (well, Miss A at the clams) and gave it 2 spoons. They wouldn’t be too excited to eat it again, but they thought it was okay. As for Mike and I, we were a little confused about giving a soup 4 spoons – it is after all a soup – but ultimately this soup earned it. The full four spoons! The clam flavor was definitely center stage, but not over-powering, and the hint of thyme was perfection.
Now if only we had some stuffies and a cabinet, our meal would be complete. Maybe next time. So if you’re in the mood for some clam chowder, we suggest you become a Rhode Islander for the night. Besides, it’s fun to drop your “r’s” every now and then.
And speaking of fun, we’ve finally jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. If you’re on Facebook, stop by and “like” us. We’d appreciate the love, and if you’re on FB we’ll make sure to “like” you back.
Oh, and while you’re in a “liking” mood, stop on by Yummly and vote for fellow blogger Geni’s Red Velvet Vampire Cupcakes that are up for an award. If you aren’t familiar with Geni, she’s a fantastic baker with a great sense of humor. Her posts always make me smile, not to mention several of her meals now regularly show up on the table around here. I’m still dreaming about her sweet potato soup!
Okay, that’s enough chatter for tonight. I’m off to grab a pumpkin muffin topped with some jimmies (anyone?).
Print this recipe: Rhode Island Clam Chowder