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Monday, February 13, 2012

Mock Ivar's Clam Chowder

My hubby and I went to Seattle a few years back for a little get away. While we were there we took a "few" trips down to the wharf where we fell in love with this little restaurant called "Ivars" (if I remember right). They made the BEST clam chowder I have ever eaten. It was creamy (vs the grainy potato texture that some chowder has) and rich and made me melt right in my seat! I think we returned and ate there ALMOST every day, either for lunch or dinner...I couldn't get enough of it. Imagine my surprise when I fell upon this recipe for "Ivar's Clam Chowder"...I knew it was a "must make" AND YES, it was JUST as good...the only thing that would have made it better would have been to have some FRESH clams to put in it...but my canned ones will have to do. If you are a clam chowder lover, this is a fantastic recipe that won't leave you disappointed!

Mock Ivar's Clam Chowder

3 cans minced clams
1/2 c. chopped onions
1/2 c. diced celery
(I pureed the onions and celery because my family won't eat them...but they are a "must have" in this recipe so I had to disguise them..and it worked)
4-6 c. diced potatoes ( I used 6 because I wanted a LARGE pot)
3/4 c. margarine
3/4 c. flour
4 c. half-and-half
1 t. salt (or more)
1 t. pepper(or more)
1 t. sugar

Drain clams (saving juice) and place in a small, covered dish in the refrigerator. Place diced potatoes, onions and celery in crock pot with clam juice and enough water to cover potatoes, cook on low for 4-6 hours OR until done. In a sauce pan melt butter, stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes (stir so it won't burn). Slowly whisk in half-and-half. Cook and whisk until smooth and thick (approx. 5 minutes). While potatoes are still in the crock pot, gently smash with a potatoe smasher...you don't want them all smashed, just some...so just do it a few times to break up SOME of the potatoes. Add half-and-half mixture along with clams and seasonings to potatoes. Stir frequently and continue to cook for 1-2 hours more (so flavors "marry") (*note I put my crock pot on "warm" for this part...your not really "cooking" but just simmering slightly). Serve hot with melted cheese if desired. MMMmmmm...great for any day, but especially a cold winter day.


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