One of my favorite seafood soups is Manhattan Clam Chowder. I remember, as a younger girl, watching my grandmother, who would come over on Wednesdays, make this in our kitchen. Hers was always perfect. So, I rumaged through my memory bank, what’s left of it, and came up with this recipe. It’s quite good, I have to say. I added a couple of ingredients that she never used, and it worked out pretty well.
Now, if you want this meatless, omit the bacon. But if you want that smokey undertone, by all means, add it. I also used a couple of these extremely hot peppers my mother-in-law got on our trip to Italy in the fall. And these things are HOT. So I only added two. You can replace them with hot pepper flakes, if desired.
Manhattan Clam Chowder
serves 4 to 6
- 3 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 to 4 potatoes, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes, optional
- 28-ounce can of whole plum tomatoes, chopped well
- 3 8-ounce jars of clam juice
- 2 cans minced clams
- 2 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. celery salt
- 1 tsp. thyme leaves
- Kosher salt
- freshly-ground black pepper
Heat a stock pot over medium heat. Dice the bacon and add to pot. Cook, until browned, about five minutes. If you’re omitting the bacon, use olive oil, about a tablespoon, instead.
To the pot, add the onion, celery, garlic and red pepper. Saute until softened, about three to five minutes. Season with salt and pepper while cooking.
Add the tomato paste, stir well, and cook for one minute more.
Carefully add the clam juice, canned, chopped tomatoes (I chopped mine in my food processor) and chopped potatoes. Season again with salt and pepper and add the parsley, thyme, bay leaf and celery salt.
Cook for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Add the minced clams with their juice and taste for seasoning. Cook for another five minutes.
Once it is done, remove the bay leaf and serve.
There’s nothing as delicious as freshly-made pico de gallo. Plump, juicy tomatoes mixed with fragrant cilantro, spicy jalapenos, garlic and red onions. Finished off with a fresh burst of lime juice. Can you almost taste it? This is another one of those things, that, through trial and error, I finally came up with something that’s a keeper. Enjoy.
- 1 large, ripe tomato, chopped
- 1 medium jalapeno, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 quarter red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- juice of half a lime
- 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt, or more to taste
- few grindings of black pepper
Prepare all of the ingredients as mentioned above, place in a serving bowl, chill and serve. Goes lovely with fajitas, over fish or just munching with chips and a nice cold beer or margarita.
I call this “Tom” Salad because my husband really does make one awesome tomato salad. He puts a bunch of different spices in it. Whatever he feels like. This is what I have caught him putting in to it.
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- one long-hot pepper, seeded, deveined and cut in to rings
- salt – a couple of pinches
- pepper – a couple of grindings
- garlic powder – a couple of shakes
- 2 Tbps. olive oil
- 4 or 5 basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp. dry parsley
Cut tomatoes into one-inch chunks. Add sliced onion and pepper. Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt. Pour in olive oil. Turn to coat. Add parsley and basil. Turn again. Refrigerate and serve.