Southwest Clam Chowder

by Whiski Business on April 3, 2014

Southwest Clam Chowder

I lived in the Pacific North Wet West for 30 years, near Long Beach, Wa. Long Beach is a charming little tourist town known for the Kite Festival,   Worlds Longest Beach….and….and CLAM DIGGING!!


Not just any ole clam, but razor clams! You stomp the wet sand hoping to spot the little doughnut shaped indent. This is a sure sign that somewhere lurking beneath is the prize! Time is of the essence, MUST. MOVE. FAST—those suckers are gone like lightening—In goes the shovel, drop to your knees, arm elbow deep in the wet hole, occasionally you end up armpit deep and on your belly. Oooookkkk…maybe that was just me.  Dig, hurry, dig, HURRY, DIG!!!!! I’d end up soaking wet, shivering, in desperate need of something warm to drink and happy as a clam. Just NOT the ones I had in my bag! OH yeah baby! Digging was a blast, especially if you got your limit of 15! WOOOWOOOO!!!

Some people fry the whole calm. Not me. I fry the “digger” and grind the rest for chowder. I love chowder, I mean REALLY love!  This recipe is my kicked up version of NW chowder. I came up with it while living in Az. I really wanted chowder, but decided to put a little SW twist on it. If you can’t get to Long Beach to dig, canned clams work just fine.

Top it off with fresh cilantro—OH. MY. GOSH!

Southwest Clam Chowder

Serves; 6

Prep time; 15 minutes

Cook time; 1 hour


½ Large Onion Diced

1 Carrot Finely Diced

2  Celery Stalks Diced w/Leaves

5 Large Potatoes Cubed–peeled if you prefer

8  Bacon Slices Diced (at least)

1 12 oz Beer (Corona)

2 6.5 oz Can Minced Clams

1 Quart ½ & ½

1 Pint Heavy Cream

½ C Milk

Handful Cilantro Chopped or more, I like mooore!!

2 Tablespoon Soft Butter

1 Tablespoon Flour

To taste – Chipotle Tabasco sauce (must be chipotle!!!), ground cumin (I use ½ teaspoon), garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Fry diced bacon in large soup pot until crunchy. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of grease; add the onion, celery and carrots to the bacon. Sauté until veggies are soft. Add beer and potatoes —simmer 5 minutes.

Add clams with the liquid, ½ & ½, heavy cream, milk and seasonings. Mix the butter and the flour into a paste, stir into chowder. Simmer until potatoes are tender and the chowder is yummy. No less than 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Top with chopped cilantro.

The longer it simmers the better.

Note—I use enough Chipotle Tabasco to make the chowder look very light pink…It should have a little kick—You’ll have to taste it often to get it seasoned to your liking….ok—so get two beers, one for the chowder and one for you to taste test with!


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