So in 2020 there was some weird thing where we all had to stay away from each other, right? Well that was really fun except that we got really bored after a while and I had the genius idea to do some crabbing! But it was May and the crabbing wasn’t good, so I found this guy on YouTube (P.K. Yi at OregonLife) who was doing some CLAMMING at the Oregon coast. I had never been clamming and so I checked the tide tables, got my shellfish license, and convinced my family – all extremely skeptical – to load up in the boat and head to Netarts Bay one morning.
There were plenty of people out there, but they were on the East side of the bay and we had the West side all to ourselves. We completely lucked out on the weather. It was sunny and gorgeous, the water was warm and we actually ended up hauling in around 20 huge cockles – plus a couple of Dungenous Crab!! It was a little greedy of us to take home that many clams, especially since we had no idea it would take that long to clean and eat them!! But then we did it again this spring so whatever. The three ways we liked them most were fried clam strips, creamy clam linguine, and CLAM CHOWDER!
This is a total copycat of our favorite chowder spot along the Oregon coast, Mo’s. It’s the best. If you are near a Mo’s, go there! But if you are at home, or can’t manage the typical TWO HOUR wait, you can make this chowder at home instead 🙂
CLAM CHOWDER RECIPE
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1/4 pound smoked ham, diced
6 cups onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
10 med/large russet potatoes, cubed
1 cup milk
1 cups minced clams
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
Saute bacon and ham on medium heat in the bottom of a heavy saucepan until brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Add onion and saute until limp, another 5 minutes. Stir in flour and mix thoroughly, continue cooking for 4-5 minutes to toast the flour (aka: make a roux).
Add the cubed potatoes and just enough water to barely cover the potatoes. Increase heat to med-high and boil 10-12 minutes until potatoes are very soft. Finally, add the clams (including any liquid they came with), milk, salt, and pepper. Taste as you go and be careful not to over-salt. I like a little heavy cream in mine, but it should be plenty thick at this point without it. Your call. Serve with a small dollop of butter and a pinch paprika on top. Goes well with saltines or oyster crackers. Stale bread works well also.
NOTE: Will keep in the fridge for a few days. If you want to freeze it, do that BEFORE you put the milk in. Then add the water when you are re-heating it.