April 30, 2014 10:51:21 AM
Many cream-based chowders suffer from the same problem -- it's hard to taste anything but the cream.
Admittedly, all that fat is mighty delicious. But if you're going to go to the trouble of making a chowder, wouldn't it be nice to taste some of the other ingredients? So we set about making a simple clam chowder that draws on fresh herbs to marry the various flavors.
Fresh tarragon and the lightly herbaceous flavor of fresh fennel were the right choice. Both play so well with the flavors of the cream, potatoes and clams. The result is that this dish has no one flavor star, and that's as it should be. The ingredients are perfectly harmonious together.
TARRAGON-FENNEL CLAM CHOWDER
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Makes 8 servings
6 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, bulb only, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
8-ounce bottle clam juice
12 ounces canned or frozen clams, chopped
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
Nutrition information per serving: 350 calories; 240 calories from fat (69 percent of total calories); 26 g fat (14 g saturated; 0.5 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 12 g protein; 410 mg sodium.