Thursday, June 30, 2011

Townsend Family Long Island Clam Chowder

Fourth of July party preparations, and the gang is making Long Island Clam Chowder following the recipe by Bernice Townsend Perks.
 Cathy, Vincent and Laura clean and peel the vegetables.
 Carrots
 Celery

 diced tomatoes
The Bosch range with the largest pots and pans that we could collect.
 lovely tender small potatoes, pre-cooked Bacon, and  fresh onions
 Vincent, a former dance professional and instructor readies the onions
 Laura chops the bacon.
 Cathy dices the carrots.
 Laura cooks the bacon, notice the huge cooking stick that i found at a tag sale.  We use it in the deepest pots to stir.
 Vincent starts to cut up the washed new potatoes, leaving the skin on.
 The broth so far, set aside so that we could cook the clams.
 Before we put the clams into boiling water, we scrub them to get the sand off and look for what Billy called "mudders."  We didn't find any clams that had sand and mud inside instead of the mollock.   He showed me how to tap the clams together to hear the hollow sound of the mudders.  You don't want that stuff in the chowder.
 Wonderful bags of fresh and alive Long Island Clams which came from Manhassett a town on the North Shore of Nassau County.
 Laura drops the clean clams into the pot to cook.
 The clams open up when done, and she uses the tongs to take them out of the deep pot.
Kathy cuts the mussel of the clam from the shell and saves the shells for a friend who crushes them and puts them into his driveway.  A very early American Long Island use for clam shells.
 a lovely dish of clam which need to be snipped with kitchen scissors.
 Clams ready to be put into the broth.
 Other clams cooking.
 Laura and Cathy add the clams to the tomato broth.
The resulting thick chowder.
We modified this basic recipe for the  huge crowd expected.

Alice Brorstrom Townsend's Clam Chowder
(provided by BerniceTwonsend Perks)

Recipe makes 8 quarts, so a very large pot is needed.
7-8 slices of bacon (1/3 lb.) diced
6 large onions chopped
5 large ribs of celery diced
5 large potatoes skinned and diced
3 cans of Cambell's tomato soup
2 large cans (28 0z. cans) peeled tomatoes, including the liquid
1 1/2 tsp. thyme
3 tsps. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 doz. chowder clams, chopped or scissor snipped (Do not grind the clams.)
Clam juice that you save inthe opening of the clams

Heat 4 quarts of water in a pot. Fry diced bacon in large frying pan until crisp.  Remove the bacon with slotted spoon and add to the boiling water.  Int the bacon grease reserved in the frying pan, saute the onions, being sure not to burn them.  
While onions are cooking, add the chopped celery and diced potatoes to the boiling water.  When cooked, add the onions, including all of the bacon grease.  Add the tomato soup and the tomatoes, which should be chopped or cut up.  Be sure to add all the tomato juice.
Strain clam juice, throwing away the sediment, and add to the pot.  Also add the thyme, salt, and pepper.
This next step is very important to prevent the clams from becoming tough.  when the chowder is at a rolling boil, throw in chopped clams a handful or so at a time, letting the chcowder return to a boil between each addition.
Add enough water to make the 8 quarts.  Like stew, the chowder shouldnot be eaten the first day.  It should be reheated.  the chowder may also be frozen as mine was for the party.
Eat hearty and have loads of fun this Fourth!

2 comments:

Erin @ I Heart New England said...

What a great post, and a wonderful Long Island recipe! Will definitely make use of it myself! :)

Judy said...

So, when is the party???