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What do you do for your dogs 2nd birthday? Take him to the beach…Obviously!

Otto's Birthday

Back in April (yes, this is a super belated post) we went to Westport, WA to meet up with my friend Morgan and her family (her new pup included)! We arrived on Friday afternoon and it was a beautiful day to hang out with Otto on the beach…

Westport

And eat a bowl of chowder as big as our head, obviously. Complete with chunks of chowder on your face, too. World’s sexiest husband award goes to…!!!

Chowder

However, the next morning when it was time to go clamming, there was a torrential DOWNPOUR. Like, monsoon. I was glad I borrowed these big rain jackets from my mom…

Clamming

And for the record, clamming is NOT easy! I totally sucked at it. This time, I am blaming it on the horrible weather. I wish we got some more pictures, but it wasn’t a very nice day for pictures, and my phone probably would have been ruined because it was raining so hard. Luckily Morgan was smart and had us take these photos just as we were finishing. I am pretty blown away that we powered through, let’s just say it would probably be a more relaxing experience if it was nice and sunny. We were rushing to get our limit so we could go inside and shower!

Clamming

Clamming

We ended up coming home with a lot of clams. Morgan’s Dad did all of the dirty work for us, we left with giant ziplocks of razor clams. We ate a bunch when we got home (breaded and pan fried – so basic and SO good), but I had to freeze some. I have been wanting to post our chowder recipe on this blog for a LONG time – and just recently it was time to bust those clams out of the freezer and make chowda!

Clam Chowder

We have always done our clam chowder as more of a soup than a super thick stew. We tell ourselves we are “keeping it lighter” that way. The cream and flour use here is very relative, depending on how thick you like your chowder.  More flour = thicker chowder. Heavier dairy products = heavier soup. This is where we tend to ‘wing it’ in this recipe. We usually use what kind of dairy we have around, sometimes it’s cream, sometimes it’s half and half, sometimes it’s just milk. Regardless, you have a great base for homemade clam chowder with this recipe.

Recipe
Razor Clam Chowder
by Lulu and Lauren
Serves a lot – at least 8. We think this chowder tastes better the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of bacon (about 1 lb.)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 stick butter (2-4 tbsp)
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot (optional, but totally good)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups clam juice (we used 2, 8 ounce jars)
  • about 1 cup of dry white wine, such a pinot grigio
  • 2 cups (1 pint) of half and half (can sub heavy cream)
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1 1/2 cups razor clams, diced (store bought canned clams work too)
  • 16 oz (about half of a store-bought bag) frozen diced potatoes (also know as southern style hash browns)

Directions

Dice raw bacon into small, bite-sized pieces. Cook over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot (we use the same pot we are going to cook the chowder in) until the bacon begins to get crispy. Remove bacon from pan and set aside on a paper-towel lined plate. Leave the bacon grease in the pan, it’s good. Depending on how fatty your bacon is, add a little butter, between 2 and 4 tablespoons. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pan. Saute until tender. Add herbs.

Add flour, lower heat and cook for 7 minutes, stirring to dissolve all of the flour. Add the clam juice and the wine. Add whichever creamy dairy vessel you are using, in this case, the half and half and milk. Heat until almost boiling, stirring constantly. Add frozen potatoes, clams, and bacon. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. Serve with some crusty sourdough bread.

Note: Chowder is awesome (if not better) the next day!

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