My dad makes this outrageous clam chowder that people will literally put in requests for. Sometimes in the winter my mom and dad will host an oyster roast at their house and my dad will steam oysters under a wet towel on the grill outside and we’ll stand around shucking them over plywood laid out on saw horses with big steaming bowls of this chowder. It is really culinary perfection – exactly the way I love to eat and experience food.
The chowder that he makes isn’t thick and creamy like up north, this is what we call “Hatteras Style” clam chowder and it’s really more of a soup than a chowder. It’s brothy, chunky and extremely peppery. For the longest time I assumed it was some sort of complicated recipe that I didn’t want to take on, until one night when I was pining for it, he said nonchalantly, “all you need is a can of clams and some potatoes.” What?? Seriously??
Anyways, the simplicity of this recipe doesn’t make it any less amazing. Much like me, my dad doesn’t cook to a precise recipe, so these amounts were estimated by me until it looked and tasted similar to his. I will say, just when you think you’ve added enough pepper, add some more.
Bob’s Clam Chowder, Hatteras Style
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tbs butter
- 4 medium red potatoes, diced
- 2 small cans of chopped clams or 1 large can (depends on where you go – most grocery stores just carry the small, tuna can sized ones)
- salt, pepper and parsley to taste
- Melt the butter in a large stock pot and add the onions and celery and saute until soft
- Add the potatoes, add salt and pepper and stir well
- Add both cans of clams – WITH juice, stir well
- Add 3 cups of water (or more depending on how brothy you want it)
- Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve steaming hot with oyster crackers
This recipe makes about four hearty bowls. Double for more or triple for a crowd. At some stores you’ll be able to find the huge cans of chopped clams, which is probably worthwhile if you’re cooking for a small army.