There are endless variations of New England chowders, some that use only clams and others that rely on a wide variety of fish and shellfish. You can add lobster, mussels, or other firm fish, depending on where you live and what you have access to.
RECIPE: Kathy’s Homemade Fish Stock
You can open your clams at home or you can ask your fishmonger to open them. If you opt for the latter, be sure to have him or her save all the clam juice. Don’t open the clams more than a few hours ahead of time. You can also steam the clams over high heat with 1/4 cup [60 ml] water until they just begin to open and then strain the juice so that no sand or grit goes into the chowder.
You’ll need a total of 4 cups [960 ml] of dairy. But you can play with the proportions of milk—and whether you use low-fat or whole milk—and cream, depending on how rich you like your chowder.
Excerpted from Soup Swap by Kathy Gunst, Published by Chronicle Books LLC. Text ©2016 by Kathy Gunst. Photographs by Yvonne Duivenvoorden, ©2016 by Chronicle Books LLC.