Friday, October 10, 2008

Rocky Point Clam Chowder

Rocky Point Rhode Island

As the Major League Baseball slogan goes, "There's only one October." Luckily for me, this October means watching the Boston Red Sox battle it out for a chance to play in another World Series. October also means cooler weather, warm and vibrant colors, and deliciously comforting food that makes you want to take a nap immediately after the meal is over. Yet, despite all of that, despite knowing that Thanksgiving will be here before I know it, I'm still longing for the days of summer.


During my last family visit, I came across a piece of paper containing the recipe for Rocky Point Clam Chowder, written in my grandmother's handwriting. The recipe is actually pretty accessible these days thanks to the Internet, but I love knowing that our family has a copy of the recipe that my grandmother took the time to write down. (I actually have no knowledge about the recipe's origins, so please share if you have the scoop!)

When I found the recipe, memories of the summer vacations I spent with my grandparents in Rhode Island came flooding back. And, of course, memories of our trips to Rocky Point Park also came flooding back. It's funny... the memories of me actually riding on any of the rides in the Park are vague, but the memories of me devouring gallons of Rocky Point Clam Chowder and buckets of Rocky Point Clam Cakes, while sitting at a long table covered in newspaper surrounded by my family and hundreds of others in the Shore Dinner Hall, are vivid. In honor of those memories, I'm passing on this recipe to you.

What are your favorite childhood memories that are tied to food?

Rocky Point Clam Chowder (makes 20 8-ounce servings)
Printable Recipe
INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound ground salt pork
  • 1 pound onion, diced
  • 1 gallon clam juice
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 quarts quahogs, chopped
  • Pilot Crackers, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large pot, heat the ground salt pork until the fat melts.
  2. Add onions and cook until translucent.
  3. Add clam juice, potatoes, tomato puree. Add a little water. Simmer until the potatoes are soft.
  4. Add quahogs. Taste for seasoning. Add water if needed. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Toward the end of cooking, crush some Pilot Crackers and stir into the chowder to thicken it further.
* This recipe, except for the title, was reproduced exactly as my grandmother wrote it and does not include details such as how long to cook the onions or how long to simmer the potatoes. My best advice would be to use your best judgment and to taste as you go!

Quahog Clam

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2 comments:

Zesty Cook said...

I am a huge fan of Clam Chowder!! Love it.... must stumble!

zesty

Michelle said...

Zesty - You and me both! Think it has anything to do with where we grew up? :)