One thing I love about a seaside vacation is seafood.
So, here it is winter in Ohio – no sea in sight. What’s a guy to do?
Here’s my answer: Create Icon Monopoly Clam Chowder.
It’s so easy that after creating it, I wondered why it took me so long to realize that I don’t need the seacoast to enjoy it.
The only decision need prior to creating your own Icon chowder is – which version, Manhattan (with tomatoes) or New England (no tomatoes).
In honor of the approaching Super Bowl, I chose New England. Here's what you need:
Enough slabs of turkey bacon to fill a 10-inch dinner plate
½ cup chopped onion – more if you really love onions
2 cans (6.5 ounces each) of minced clams
1 medium-sized potato
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 cups milk
(this is a great opportunity to get rid of extra half-and-half in your ‘frig)
Parsley if you must
Yes, you could use real bacon, but I don’t like to buy a large amount because I’ll never use it all. Turkey bacon might be pretend bacon, but it’s a lot less expensive and it does the job.
Microwave a dinner plate worth of bacon – it’s about 6 strips – until it’s crisp. Usually takes about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile chop the onion into smaller pieces – a little smaller than size of hotels on the Monopoly board. Do the same with the potato. (Slice some of the potatoes into Monopoly-sized houses, since some eaters can't afford hotels.)
Place your Monopoly-sized onions and potatoes in a 2-quart saucepan. When the bacon is crisp, break it into crumbs and add to the saucepan.
Open the two clam cans. Drain the liquid into a separate cup. Add the clams to the saucepan.
You’ll need one cup of liquid, so add water to the clam liquid make a cup.
Pour the liquid in the saucepan and turn on the burner. Bring to a boil and then turn to simmer. Stir from time to time. Or, if you are playing Monopoly during this time, stir between your own moves.
I use half-and-half for my coffee, but I seldom drink enough before it goes sour. So, with some extra half-and-half in the ‘frig, I use it to go toward the two cups of milk I needed. And, it makes the chowder thicker.
Add the 2 cups of milk.
Finally, add the salt and pepper.
Your goal is to get the potatoes slices small enough so that they will soften up quickly.
After about 15 minutes on simmer, taste your chowder and decided if you think the potatoes are as soft as you want them.
If you are impatient, you may always use the potatoes as houses and hotels the next time you play Monopoly.