Guess where you'll find the world's best tasting clam chowder? It's not New England, but right here in Cedar Key, Fla.!
Three-time winner of the Great Chowder Cookoff in Newport, R.I., Chef Eric Jungklaus certainly has some clam-tastic bragging rights for beating out the "big boys" of New England as well as several international contenders in this culinary contest.
Inspired by his brother Tony, Chef Eric Jungklaus created the recipe to be a memorable signature dish for their local Cedar Key eatery, Tony's Seafood Restaurant.
While he wouldn't give us the exact recipe, he did let us know that he uses a proprietary blend of spices along with butter, cream and bacon. Isn't everything delicious made with butter, cream and bacon?
Here are Chef Jungklaus' recommendations for making the perfect clam chowder:
TONY'S CLAM CHOWDER TIPS
Basic ingredients for a chowder base:
Flour, Butter, Celery, Onion, Vegetable Stock, Salt & Pepper
Substitute CLAM JUICE for vegetable stock.
Sautee celery and onion in separate pan, then add to base.
Basic ingredients to finish your chowder:
Chopped Clams, Celery, Potatoes, Wine, Bacon, Whole Milk, Carrots, Onions
To give a thicker, heartier texture and flavor ...
Use red onions & red potatoes.
Try Hardwood Smoked Bacon.
Chop bacon and pan cook until golden brown.
Add some of the bacon pan drippings to your chowder.
Use half-n-half and heavy cream instead of plain milk.
Typical Chowder Seasonings:
Bay leaf, hot sauce, dill weed, black pepper & salt
Chopped Garlic will give your chowder a kick.
Butter adds flavor, color and a little sweetness.
Try some dry spice blends: Parsley flakes, black pepper, white pepper, green and red pepper, red pepper flakes
Key: Whisk dry spice blend into half-n-half before adding to chowder.
Most people heat chowder on a stove in a sauce pan.
Dust off your crock pot! When your recipe is complete, give the chowder’s flavors an hour or more to all come together.