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 235, August 5, 2017: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Hatch Chile Season is on!

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioFor some seven short weeks the incredible Hatch Chiles from New Mexico are available fresh. Unusually they can be purchased in a range of heats from mild to hot.

It’s no secret why everyone is obsessed with Hatch Chiles. Named after the original growing area in Hatch, New Mexico, authentic Hatch Chiles are truly a Southwestern favorite. No other chile is prized more than this variety which grows in the Hatch Valley, just north of Las Cruces. The valley, which stretches along the Rio Grande’s southern-most bend before crossing into Texas and Mexico, is covered with row after row of these green leafy chile plants for most of the summer. Chefs say that the intense sunlight and cool nights in this valley result in a uniquely flavored chile that’s unrivaled by any other.

Hatch Chiles have a meaty flesh and mild-medium heat making them ideal for use in Chile Con Queso, Chile Rellenos, and Chile Verde. But it doesn’t just stop there. You can also try roasting and using them in salads, soups, stews, dips, and sandwiches. For even more great ideas on how to use this incredible chile, purchase a copy of Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook with over 150 unique, home-kitchen tested and classic Hatch Chile recipes.

Hatch chiles are so popular savvy folks load up each summer and freeze (in portioned freezer bags) enough roasted chiles to enjoy year-round.

Our resident produce guru, Robert Schuller of Melissa’s, steps away from the roaster to give us the piquant specifics.

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