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via The MetroWest Daily News Food and Dining RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 9/10/08
Russet potatoes were the winner for this chowder during testing at Cook's Country magazine. Instant potato flakes are used to thicken the chowder, but avoid potato granules, which can have an off taste.
LOW-FAT NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER
Recipe from the September issue of Cook's Country magazine. Start to finish: 45 minutes.
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
Four 6-1/2-ounce cans chopped clams, drained and juices reserved
3/4 cup instant potato flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
8-ounce bottle clam juice
3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and ground black pepper
In a large Dutch oven over medium-low, cook the bacon until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened, about another 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, wine, bay leaves and reserved juice from the canned clams. Increase heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the potato flakes, cornstarch and bottled clam juice. Microwave until mixture is thickened and smooth, about 1 minute.
Stir the potato flake mixture into the pot and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Add the half-and-half, parsley and chopped clams and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Do not let the chowder boil or it will curdle. Discard the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Makes 6 servings.