Daniel Webster's Clam Chowder
- 2 qts clams, minced, liquor reserved
- 8 potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1/3 pound lean salt pork (not fatback)
- 8 Pilot crackers
- 1 pint lowfat milk
- butter, 1 pat for each serving
- Obtain and clean two qts of clams. Separate the bags from the shoulders. Strain off the liquor to settle and reserve.
- Chop the heads and shoulders quite fine. Pare and slice eight potatoes. Cut up the slice of pork into small cubes and fry out.
- Soak 8 Pilot (or possibly Lowfat milk) crackers. Throw into the kettle minced clams, a little salt and pepper, then a layer of potatoes. Pour over the strained liquor carefully, allowing what's settled to remain in c., then add in sufficient cool water to cover the whole.
- Cook till the potatoes are done, then add in the soft part of the clams, crackers, and 2 c. of lowfat milk. Boil eight min and serve warm. Onions if desired.
- Serve with a pat of butter and additional chowder crackers.
- This is an old authentic recipe from a 1916 Cookbook, "What We Cook on Cape Cod".
- Addendum: Some people have asked us what they should do with the salt pork in the pan once it's fried up with the onions, etc.
- On Cape Cod, we leave it in the chowder, seeing as which's the frugal New England thing to do. We use high quality salt pork that is mostly pink and is much like bacon, so there isn't any reason to remove it. You can remove it if you're on a special diet, but your chowder will turn out differently. To adhere more closely to the authentic recipe, you can trim away the white portions of the salt pork, retaining the pink. Or possibly, for a total break with tradition, try substituting pancetta.
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