This is the BEST clam chowder ever!!
Here's what you need:
1 quart of half and half
6 pieces of bacon, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cans baby clams, undrained
1 medium purple onion, diced
2 pkgs salad shrimp (the really small ones)
2 cans corn, undrained (I love Green Giant's niblets, they have a little less liquid in the can)
1 cup of your favorite potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of celery salt
1/2 teaspoon of salt--maybe more depending on your taste
1 tablespoon of garlic powder (I personally like a little more) if you like fresh garlic, 6-8 cloves, diced
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes--if you like it a little spicy, which is really good, you can add up to 2 tablespoons for a kick
You need an 8 quart soup pan to give you room. Start by setting the burner to Medium heat and frying the bacon. Once a little grease starts to build up, add your onions and potatoes. Once the potatoes are just shy of fork tender (soft, but not soft enough to stab through), add the clams (and their juice!!) and shrimp. Then add your seasonings--you might want to add larger amounts than I have listed... I don't usually measure them, so I'm trying to guess at amounts... just taste it and adjust to your personal taste. ***It is best to taste at the end and adjust the seasonings, otherwise it will seem really strong because you haven't added the milk yet***
Once that's all nice and bubbly hot, (you might want to turn the burner up to medium-high), add the corn. Stir once again, let it come to a boil, and then add the half and half. Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes, 30 to make it really good. Make sure you keep stirring to keep it from scorching or sticking to the pan. This is where you will want to taste it and add accordingly...I personally love it when it's nice and peppery (black pepper, not red, the red is only to make it spicy). Garlic adds a nice twist to it as well, since it goes great with the clams and shrimp. Enjoy!!
If you have any questions, please email me. This is my all-time favorite recipe--I came up with it by looking at other clam chowder recipes and doing what I thought sounded best--yes it's an original!
I personally can't stand the canned stuff, even the good brands, because there's never enough clams and way too many potatoes, and well, I hate celery unless it's with peanut butter, so I refuse to add it to my soup
if you do like celery, be careful! It can be really strong in soups. I wouldn't add more than a couple of stalks thinly sliced, and make sure to opt out on the celery salt if you choose that path.