Fall/Winter 2022 Newsletter Article: Make it with the Mayor – Bexley Clam Chowder

Friday, Nov 18, 2022 at 11:15 am

First off – let’s be clear, staff put me up to posting a recipe to our Bexley Times Newsletter! But I do love a good, simple chowder, and this recipe is perfect for these late autumn evenings. Developed over several cool summers at our family’s lake cabin in downeast Maine, it’s a perfect Thanksgiving starter. Enjoy!

Mayor Ben’s New England Clam Chowder

Makes 6-8 hearty servings

1 tbsp. Olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 shallot, diced (optional)
1 carrot, peeled, halved, and diced
1 stalk celery, cut in half lengthwise and diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, diced
Kosher salt, to taste
2, 8 oz. Bottles of clam juice (such as Snow’s)
2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1/2 to 1 inch cubes
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
1 pint cream
Ground black pepper
3, 6.5 oz. chopped clams in juice (such as Snow’s)
Chives or spring onions, for garnish


1. In large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium to medium-low heat, adding diced onion and sautéing for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add carrot, celery, and shallot (optional) and sauté for an additional 5-10 minutes until soft and lightly carmelized, stirring occasionally and taking care not to overly brown.

2. Stir in diced garlic and sauté for a scant minute, adding a pinch or two of salt.

3. Pour in clam juice and add potatoes, bring to a simmer, add the sprig of thyme and the bay leaf and another pinch or two of salt, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, covered, until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.  As the potatoes simmer, fill one of the empty clam juice bottles with water and add as needed (maybe about half of the small bottle) to keep broth hydrated.

4. As potatoes are cooking, melt butter in a small saucepan on low heat and, once melted, whisk in flour and keep whisking until flour and butter are smooth in consistency. Keeping the heat low, slowly whisk in cream until fully incorporated, forming a thick sauce. Once potatoes are cooked, slowly stir the cream sauce in with the potatoes and base until fully incorporated. Add another pinch or two of salt and crank a few healthy grinds of black pepper into the mix.

5. Add chopped clams and the clam juice into the chowder and heat until simmering gently, being careful to stir and not boil. Salt and pepper further to taste – at this point I might add a healthy several pinches of salt and grinds of pepper, stirring and tasting between pinches until well seasoned.

6. Garnish with finely chopped chives or spring onions and serve with warm crusty bread and a side bowl of oyster crackers. Enjoy!

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