Portuguese Style Clam Chowder

10 Jul

As you may recall, Joe and I went clamming while we were down at the Cape for 4th of July weekend. So, with over 5 dozen clams, one wonders, what to do with all of those CLAMS?!?!

Clams are obviously delicious when they are steamed. Here are a few suggestions on steaming clams.

1. Before steaming your clams, make sure you wash them thoroughly to dislodge any muck or dirt or sand. You may have to change the water a few times. Use a sponge or a brush to get the caked on stuff off.

2. If you are planning on cooking the clams the same day you buy them or collect them, keeping them in fresh water is ok. If you aren’t planning on using them the same day, then make sure you use a salt water solution so they keep fresh.

3. Discard any open clams. Gross.

4. You can steam clams 2 different ways; in the water and above the water. For this particular time we had a gigantic lobster pot with a steamer on top, so we went with above the water.

5. Fill the bottom pot with water and then place the steamer on top. You can place the clams up so you can see when they open, or you can just throw them in there and let them do their thing.

6. Let the water come to a boil before adding the clams. The first time around I let the clams sit above the water before it came to a boil. Nothing wrong with that, but it just took longer.

6. Once the water is boiling, the clams take about 10 minutes or so to open. Make sure they are open fairly wide before taking them out. We had a couple really big clams that only opened partially and we chucked them just to be on the safe side.

7. Once the clams are open, immediately take them out of the steamer. You don’t want to overcook them! Keep adding new clams to the steamer and check them periodically. It was slow goings for a while for me, but after the first batch was done, it went by really fast.

8. Let the clams cool a bit before attempting to shell them. I ended up tearing out most of them with my hands, but you can use a knife as well.

9. DON’T THROW AWAY THE JUICE THAT’S LEFT BEHIND!!!! It’s delicious, and can be used when you make your clam chowder 🙂

I seriously wished I had taken a picture of all the shelled clams, but I was basically a machine at that point, hah.

I love creamy clam chowder. I refuse to count Manhattan Clam Chowder as chowder. It’s soup, and it doesn’t hold a candle next to New England style Clam Chowder. I infused some of my Portuguese roots by adding paprika and some linguica to the pot. Everyone gulped it up, included Joe’s grandfather who ate THREE BOWLS. If that’s not a resounding seal of approval then I don’t know what is.

I little side note: I like to add A LOT of clams to my chowder. It is CLAM chowder after all. There are a lot of places that make their clam chowder and there is hardly any clams, just a lot of potatoes. Bah. So please, do load up on the clams, like I’ve done here. ENJOY!

Portuguese Style Clam Chowder

Adapted from Cooking for Engineers

  • 2-3 cups chopped steamed clams, shells removed (or more, if you are a clam fiend)
  • 2lbs russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 slices fatty hickory smoked bacon
  • 10-15oz clam juice
  • 1.25 cups whole milk
  • 1.25 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 4 links of cooked linguica, chopped
Heat a pot on medium high and add the bacon. Cook the bacon until crispy and remove the bacon but keep the grease. Add the chopped onions and stir until coated and then cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir until the potatoes are covered with the fat then add the flour and mix.
Add the clam juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are softened.
Add the clams, milk and cream and stir to combine. Add the paprika and linguica and add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through, about an additional 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

6 Responses to “Portuguese Style Clam Chowder”

  1. Megan July 10, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    You’re amazing. And your chowder looks amazing. I bet it also tastes amazing. We should cook dinner together once in a while….so we can taste the amazing things that we see our blogs!

  2. Elizabeth July 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    That recipe sounds insanely rich. That’s so cool you made it with clams you dug yourself.

  3. Emily @ A Cambridge Story July 11, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    This is a great twist on a New England classic. Anything with cream and linguica sounds yummy to me, though!

  4. Daisy July 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I’m drooling. this looks absolutely amazing. love that you added special touches to make it your own!

  5. Rudie Hilton October 14, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    delicious food..hope someday i can taste it


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