Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rhode Trip with Corning Ware - Rhode Island Clam Chowder

I took a little "road trip" to the East Coast for dinner this evening.....

Not many people seem to know about Rhode Island Style Clam Chowder, aside from those that actually live in Rhode Island.   Maybe it's because of it's unassuming nature.  It's not flashy red and tomato laden like Manhattan Style, it's not loaded with cream and butter like New England Style.  It's sort of like "the clam chowder next door".  Humble and reserved...  Unpretentious and simple...yet unequivocally delicious.

It may be the least ostentatious of the three styles, but if you are a clam lover, then this is the Chowder for you.  No overpowering tomato, no cloying cream and butter, just clear brothy goodness, loaded with bits of clam, bacon and potato; accentuated with caramelized onions.

True, it should be made with Quahogs, but they are not available on the Left Coast, so I simply go with a combination of chopped & whole clams in a can (besides, I need the clam juice)

I think the true secret to the deliciousness of Rhode Island style Clam Chowder, isn't so much the clams, as it is the most over looked ingredient in your kitchen.... . These little babies.

It's time that Celery was given it's due.  Everyone is familiar with the ribs; they are one of the major players in Mirepoix, after all.  Some are familiar with Celery Root (Celeriac) shaved or julienne in salads or as a mash.  Celery Seed is even used is myriad recipes.... But not the leaves... WHY not the leaves?   They often just get tossed in the garbage.  It's time to think of Celery contributions to cooking, just as you would Cilantro.   Cilantro root and stems are used in Thai curries.. The leaves are used to adorn many Mexican dishes and the seeds (Coriander) are a key spice in the kitchen.   Just like Cilantro, Celery has many subtle flavors depending on which part you are using.   Adding Celery leaf at the end of cooking really adds a delightful "fresh" celery flavor to the soup and highlights the clams beautifully.

Rhode Island Style Clam Chowder

3 slices of Bacon, cut into matchsticks
3 TB Unsalted Butter
1 Onion, diced
4 Celery stalks, diced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 TB All Purpose Flour
~2 cups Clam Juice (reserved from the canned clams)
4 cups Seafood Stock (or Fish, or Vegetable)
1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
1/2 lb Red Potatoes, diced
1 1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 Bay leaf
1 lb Clam meat, drained & chopped (if using canned clams, you will need five 6.5oz cans to achieve the correct "drained" weight)
Celery Leaves, chopped
Kosher Salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper

Corning Ware 4 quart Dutch Oven (P-34) or P-84 (4 quart Sauce Pot) or A-5 (5 quart Dutch Oven/Sauce Pot)

Heat your P-34-B over medium heat; when hot, add the Bacon and saute until crispy, then remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the Butter and allow it to melt and mingle with the Bacon Fat in the stock pot.  

Add the diced Onion and allow it to sweat until it begins to darken in color. (about 15 minutes)  

Once the Onion has begun to caramelize, add the Celery & Garlic, cooking an additional 5 minutes. 

Add 3 TB All Purpose Flour and continue cooking until the mixture begins to smell nutty (about 3-5 minutes)

Drain the canned clams and set them aside, saving the juice (you should have about 2 cups of Clam juice... give or take) then add the Clam Juice....

along with the Seafood/Fish Stock.....

the Potatoes...

and the Thyme, as well as the Bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low, allowing the chowder to simmer for 15 minutes. 

Remove the pot from the flame, and remove the Bay leaf. (Trust me, you don't want to eat that)

Add the Clam meat and the Bacon, stirring and allowing them to heat through. 

Stir in the chopped Celery leaves. 

Taste and season as necessary with Salt and  Black Pepper.

Now you are ready to serve (with oyster crackers or Saltines, if you like) Mmmmmmmmmm! 

Not THAT is a big bowl of "happy" right there, that is.

Where is your Corning Ware??


  1. So, looking at your amazing site (so many good recipes!!) but not finding specific answer to what I'm looking for...

    Have a P-1-B original cornflower design--safe to use directly on (electric) stovetop, yes?

    Thank you.

    1. Yes... All Vintage Corning Ware can be used directly on Electric Coil, Gas and Radiant Glass surfaces. You can even use it on your BBQ grill.

  2. Thanks! Just purchased vintage 5 L Wildflower Dutch Oven as well. :) Planned to go stainless or ceramic, but even Mercola & Extrema's 'safe' cookware is made in ROC, so decided to go with what we know works. Excited now to make dishes directly on range with (Mom's hand-me-down) P-1-B too.

    1. You are going to love it for stove top cooking. My best advice, since stoves are actually "hotter" than they use to be, back in the day, is to never cook above medium heat, unless you are boiling water.

    2. You are going to love it for stove top cooking. My best advice, since stoves are actually "hotter" than they use to be, back in the day, is to never cook above medium heat, unless you are boiling water.

    3. Yes, definitely a learning curve! Cooking mostly eggs in the 1 quart, & it's very different than teflon, to say the least. But very relieved to be cooking with CW instead of the teflon skillet.
      Bought the 5 quart but it arrived with 3 scratches on the bottom--less than an inch long each, & each a fraction of a mm wide. They're not very deep, but deep enough that when I run my fingernail over it, it catches in the groove every time. Is this normal with CW? Don't want to have spent money just to have it break on me in a few months or years. Have pics, don't know how to send them to you though. Thanks much for any help you can give.

  3. I hope it is ok to post this here, your great Corning Ware website seems like the perfect place.

    I have been trying to find another one of the Corning Ware 50th Anniversary Shelf Units (H-55-SU) from Ikea. I've posted some pictures on Google+ which you can see here.

    Thank you.

  4. I have been trying to find another one thank you.


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