Old England Chowder

When I first went to Cape Cod many years ago, I developed a weakness for their New England Clam Chowder.  Thinking about it logically, it probably comes readymade, as the taste even over a period of 15-20 years never varies however, in my opinion, it is delicious.  After that first visit, I tried to cook it at home and although successful, I felt that I could adapt to suit the taste of my family, cut out some ingredients and add some of my own.

The following recipe therefore is loosely based (very loosely) on New England Clam Chowder.   I call it ‘OLD England Chowder’ or ‘Whatever Happens to be Available Chowder’ because the only ingredients I stick rigidly to are the bacon, sweet corn, onion and potatoes.  Sometimes I add prawns, sometimes clams, sometimes a mixture of shellfish, depending what I have in the freezer.  Like everything I cook, it is quick and easy.

Ingredients – To serve 4 people
1 pack of bacon lardons (the sort you can buy in Mercadona)
½ medium onion, chopped
2 or 3 medium potatoes chopped
1 small can sweet corn or if you have frozen approx 125 gms
1 Bay Leaf
1 litre milk
6- 8 large Prawns cut into bite size pieces or
100 gms clams in their shells or a mixture of the above plus mussels, cockles the sort of assortment in a bag of frozen mixed seafood from the supermarket.
3 tablespoons cream
Salt and Mace to taste.

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Add the potatoes, onion, bacon, bay leaf and milk to a large saucepan simmer gently until the potatoes are tender approx 10 – 15 mins.

Stir the clams, prawns or whatever mixture of shellfish you decide to use into the potato, bacon and onion mix.  Add the cream and heat through but do not boil.  Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.

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Delicious served with a nice chunk of Spanish bread on one of those rare cool days we get on the island.

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