Sunday’s Smokey Bacon-Corn Clam Chowder
So, did I have you at BACON? Praise the Lard! But as sinful as it sounds, this recipe is lightened up and delicious. It also uses ingredients you should be able to find in even the most remote of locations. To follow along simply:
1) Dice up 6 slices of THICK cut bacon (nitrite/nitrate free is good), and toss in a Dutch oven with a couple of Tbsp of olive oil. Sizzle it up until crisp.
2) Turn the heat off then transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain (making sure you have your little Bacon Buddy there to vacuum up what you drop).
3) Remove all but 1 Tbsp of the fat from the pan, then set the pan aside for use in a bit.
4) Dice 1/2 a sweet onion and 1 Yukon gold potato, with the skin on.
5) Return the original pot with remaining 1 Tbsp bacon drippings to a medium heat and add the diced onion, sauteing about 2 minutes.
6) Then, add in the diced potatoes, plus: 2 cans good quality corn niblets (drained), 1 can creamed corn, 1 & 1/2 c low fat (skim or 1%) milk, 1 & 1/2 c. chicken broth, 2-3 sprigs thyme, and 2 bay leaves.
7) Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
8) Add back the drained bacon and 2 cans of whole baby clams, drained. [Update: if you don't like clams, add another can of corn niblets and maybe a little more bacon :)]
9) Let the clams warm for a couple of minutes, remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves, then serve!
Note: This recipe should not require additional salt, since the bacon and chicken broth already add plenty of that. I know we only added a little pepper at the table, but this is a personal preference. I serve the chowder with a nice crusty bread (I love Terra Bread’s Rosemary-Olive oil bread for you lower mainland readers) and a side salad and you have a complete, delicious, super-easy, Sunday meal. The whole thing, including chopping and cooking time for the chowder and salad, took me 30 minutes! And, it was delicious!
Bonus points: you can make it in the morning and reheat, or freeze for up to one month!
Happy Sunday Y’all!