Two nights ago, Boston Red Sox fans were cursing at their TV, their team, and those pesky Tampa Bay Rays (née Devil Rays). After losing game one of the ALDS, the Rays have absolutely spanked the Sox. Up until the seventh inning on Thursday, the Rays were winning 7-0 and it looked like the Rays would clinch the Pennant and be headed to the World Series. But in true Red Sox fashion, the team staged a comeback to end all comebacks and won game five 8-7.
Tonight the Sox face in Rays in their house. This is not only troubling because the Rays are 9-2 against the Sox at home, but also because TB fans have a fetish for cowbell and thunderstix. As if the clangor of noisemakers was not enough, tonight we have the added pleasure of another 9 innings of Chip Caray’s brilliant (snicker) broadcasting.
I know there are a lot of Sox haters out there, but what are you going to do, root for Tampa Bay?!?!?! What has Florida contributed to the culinary world besides o.j. and key lime pie? Well la-de-frick-in-da. Show your appreciation for this state, without us there would be no Boston cream pie, Fluff, chocolate chip cookies, Thanksgiving (!), and New England Clam Chowder.
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 2 c. diced yellow onions
- 1 c. diced carrots
- 1 c. diced celery
- 2 c. fresh chopped clams (not canned, you can probably get this for about $5 prepackaged in the fish section of your grocery store)
- 4 c. clam juice
- 3 c. fish stock
- 3 c. potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 c. light cream
- 8 Tb. flour (divided)
- 4 Tb. butter
- 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
- salt and pepper
- Red wine vinegar
- In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium low heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to a small dish using a slotted spoon, reserving fat.
- Cook the onion, carrots, and celery in bacon fat until softened, but not browned. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add 3 Tb. flour to the vegetables, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook for about 3 minutes. You may need to add a couple tablespoons of water if it is really sticky and dry.
- Pour in fish stock and clam juice. Its also fine to do all clam juice if you can’t find fish stock. I have subbed half vegetable stock before to save money and it was fine.
- Bring to a boil and add potatoes and thyme. Reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are done.
- Stir in clams, reserved bacon bits, and light cream. Season with salt and pepper. Heat slowly on low.
- In a separate saucepan, make the roux. Melt 4 Tb. butter and add 5 Tb. flour to it. Cook over low heat until brown. Take a couple ladles of liquid from the soup pot and whisk it into the roux. This will thin it out and make it easier to add to the chowder. Add the thinned out roux into the chowder, stirring constantly. Don’t let the chowder boil!
- Stir in a drop or two of red wine vinegar before serving.