Monday, February 21, 2011


For those who don't know, I love to cook.  Growing up, the men were usually the ones slaving away over a hot stove, grilling choice cuts of meat and whipping up delicious desserts.  It all started with my Grandpa Pete, my dad's father, who, after immigrating to the United States from the Philippines, was a cook in the army and a chef for Will Rogers.  I remember as a kid, excited to head to my grandparent's house for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I learned to love our native food but also appreciated a well cooked steak.  As time went on my father did much the same in our house.  We, including my mom, became spoiled when it came to meals.  But after watching two generations of men create memorable meals, I learned how to experiment with cooking.  Now I am not a chef my any means, but I seem to get alot of requests from friends and family for my recipes.
This is the first of many recipes I will be sharing.

This recipe will serve 2 to 4 people.

4    6.5 oz canned chopped clams separated from the juice.  Reserve juice*
2    lbs of freshly shucked clams
1    8 oz clam juice
3    Large russet potatoes cubed into 2" pieces
1/3 lbs baby carrots whole
4    large stalks of celery, cleaned and sliced into 1" pieces
1    8 oz can corn, drained
1    large garlic clove, minced
2    sprigs of fresh dill, minced
1    tablespoon of unsalted butter
2    tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1    small yellow onion, minced
1    tablespoon of all purpose flour
2    cups of whole milk AND
1    cup of heavy cream**
1    pinch of cayenne pepper OR dried red pepper flakes (optional)
      salt and pepper to taste

*Substitute canned clams with 2 lbs freshly shucked clams and increase the clam juice to 12 oz
**Substitute the whole milk and cream with 3 cups of 2% or 1% milk

  • Heat a large pot, nothing smaller than a 5 quart, over medium-high heat
  • Add the butter and olive oil.
  • Once the butter has melted and the two have combined, add in the onions and garlic.  Cook until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add in a pinch of both salt and pepper.
  • Add the potatoes and cook until they are almost soft.  Don't overcook them.
  • Add in the carrots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add celery and cook until they become soft.
  • Slowly add in the flour, about half a teaspoon at a time.  Make sure to incorporate the flour with the rest of the ingredients and eliminating any chunks of lumps of flour. 
  • Add in the clams and cook for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add about half a teaspoon each of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add in the reserved clam juice from the can and the additional 8 oz.  Bring to a simmer.
  • Add in the milk and heavy cream.  Bring to a full boil.
  • Add in a pinch each of salt, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Stir.
  • Add in most of the minced dill.  Reserve some for garnish. 
  • Add in corn
  • Lower the burner to low heat and cover.
  • Slowly cook for 45 minutes to an hour.  Checking every 10 to 15 minutes.
  • The longer it sits the better so you can actually leave it on the stove longer.
  • Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the reserved dill.


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