Golden Clams

By · Monday, February 1st, 2010

Golden Clams

For most of my life I have been the perennial California girl from the beach. Fit, athletic, tanned, and living by the water in Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

My favorite places, people, activities, ocean and decor are also targeted: Coastal Living Magazine. Cooking California coast. Even my goddess favorite, Aphrodite rose from the sea in a shell.

It seems that everyone finds renewal on the shore with their positive ions, oxygenated air and abundant life. Perhaps our spiritual relationship stems in part from the sea and our own bodies that share the same mineral composition.

What is certain is that there is nothing not be valid after lunch or dinner at some of the 'splendid beach dives' up and down the California coast that serve outstanding clam chowder. Some of my favorites include: The Crab Kitchen Balboa Island. Gladstone for fish in Malibu. Chez Jay in Santa Monica. Brophy Brother's in Santa Barbara. Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco. And the old fisherman Grotto in Monterey.

I have often noticed that people who consume large amounts of fish and shellfish appear to be stronger, healthier and younger. Besides being delicious and comforting, Clam Chowder is rich in riboflavin for healthy hair, skin and eyes. Calcium for bones. Iron build red blood cells and muscles. Selenium for a healthy immune system. Phosphorus for resistance. And B-12 – the energy vitamin.

During my years of beach life, my own recipe has evolved. Thick, rich and creamy that is a meal in itself. Serve California style with sourdough bread hot, and a glass of California Chardonnay outstanding. A suggestion came from the link as follows:

The Girl Clam Beach, California's Chowder:

3 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams.
2 cans whole clams
3 – bottles clam juice
4 slices bacon cut into pieces of an inch from a
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup diced celery
2 cups cubed red potatoes new
1 cup chopped carrot
3 / 4 cup butter
3 / 4 cup cornstarch
1 medium room and half cream
2 tablespoons little red wine vinegar (optional, gives a taste of fish soup)
1 1 / 2 teaspoons sea salt
ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh thyme
Chopped parsley fresh for garnish

Drain juice from canned clams in a large frying pan the onion, celery, potatoes and carrots. Add bottled clam juice to cover, adding water if necessary. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan cook the bacon pieces until crispy, set aside on paper towels. Wipe the skillet and melt butter over medium heat. Whisk the cornstarch into ½ cup of cream until smooth, then whisk the remaining cream with the butter, whisk in cornstarch mixture and chopped fresh thyme. Stir until thickened and smooth.

Stir in the vegetables cooked clam juice. Heat through but do not boil. Stir in the clams just before serving and heat through but do not burn or to be difficult. Add red vinegar (optional), salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy with applause from the Golden State!

Wine selection: Tamayo Family Vineyards Sonoma Chardonnay: a seductive white crafted with just the right vibrancy, aromatics, and nuanced undercurrents of spiced oak to accent this delicious chowder to delight your family and friends: http://tamayofamilyvineyards.com/

© 2008 -Suzanne de Cornelia. All worldwide rights apply. This article may be reprinted on websites as long as the entire article, including website link and resource box below are included and unchanged. Suzanne de Cornelia is a freelance writer, and author of “French Heart.” Contact Suzanne on Facebook, or Twitter @SuzanneDeC. And click-on her site now for a blogroll of free and fascinating resources: http://suzannedecornelia.com/

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