Hatch Clam Chowder

Melissa's Hatch Chile Clam Chowder

Recipe excerpt from:
Melissa’s Hatch Pepper Cookbook
by Tom Fraker
Melissa’s World Variety Produce

To Steam the Clams:

  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 6 cloves Melissa’s Peeled Garlic – crushed
  • 2 pounds Fresh Clams – cleaned (See Instructions below)

Using a large skillet with a lid, bring the water, chicken broth, and garlic to a boil. Add the clams into the skillet and place the lid on top. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Watch closely. Once all the clams have opened, remove from heat immediately. Do not overcook – your clams will be rubbery. Reserve some of the liquid for use in the chowder, and scoop the meat out of the shells.

For the Chowder:

Prepare a hot grill. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter, brush onto the corn and season with the pepper. Grill until completely slightly charred. 

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Add the onion and the next 3 ingredients. Cook until the onions are translucent. Stir in remaining butter. Add the flour and stir to combine. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream. Add the bay leaves and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the corn and the clams (chopped, if desired). Simmer until heated through. Adjust the seasonings and garnish with the cilantro and salsa. If you want more clam flavor, add some of the reserved steaming liquid. Makes about 12 servings. 

Note: Cleaning Clams
In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of cold water with 1/3 cup of salt. Place all clams that passed your inspection into the bowl. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Transfer clams into a new clean bowl with a new salt and water mixture. Refrigerate for another 20 minutes. This process draws the dirt out of the clams. If any clams float to the top during this process instead of settling at the bottom, discard them.

Remove clams from the water, but do not pour into a strainer. Pouring everything into a strainer can put dirt back into the clams. Use your hands or a slotted spoon.

Finally, brush the outsides of the shell with a vegetable brush to remove any remaining dirt from the outside of the shell.

Show 31, June 15, 2013: Dining with Jet and Producer Andy

The new dining room of Spago Beverly HillsChef Jet and Producer Andy have been doing some noteworthy dining around…

Jet recently experienced the renovated Spago Beverly Hills which remains one of the bastions of fine dining in the West. The new look is more retro in the style of AMC’s “Mad Men” series. The servers are smartly attired in vests with ties.

Serving portions are by the numbers. One’s are the appetizers. Two’s are small plates and Three’s are big plates which you can share. Standouts for Jet are the grilled corn agnolotti and the veal steak tartar. Expensive but worth it…

Connie & Ted's in West HollywoodProducer Andy reported on the new Connie & Ted’s on Santa Monica Blvd. in WeHo. This is Celebrity Chef Michael Cimarusti’s (Providence) greatly anticipated East Coast / New England-style seafood “shack” with his front of the house partner from Providence, Donato Poto, one of the most welcoming in the business. It’s housed in an architecturally significant new building. The front looks like a wave and the inside has the feeling of openness with an open kitchen.

Producer Andy was particularly taken with their lobster roll. You can get it hot or cold but Andy commented on the hot variation which is poached lobster served on a house-baked, toasted hot dog –style bun slathered in drawn butter. All breads and rolls are baked in-house including the oyster crackers for the three versions of clam chowder.