Thursday, September 30, 2010

Clam Chowder

At least one of our readers has requested a clam recipe. Clams casino are a popular favorite (small to medium clams on the half shell; topped with a splash of white wine, Parmesan cheese, and a slice of bacon; broil until the bacon is crisp; serve with crackers).

Then there is clam chowder. Remember, Ocracoke clam chowder is a clear broth.

As it says in the Ocracoke Cook Book, "Most Ocracoke people cook clam chowder very simply, but using different lengths of time. The size and tenderness of the clams can determine this. Don't be afraid to do your own thing with these recipes."

Below is Edna O'Neal's recipe (p. 7) with my variations in brackets:
  • 5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and chopped coarsely [I don't peel my potatoes, and I used about 3 1/2-4 lbs because I only have an 8 qt. pot.]

  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped

  • 3 pints clams, chopped [I used 2 qts. The freshly caught clams had been put in plastic bags and frozen, then opened (remember to let them thaw a makes them easier to open...and you're less likely to cut your hand!). I put them, in small quantities, in the blender (for just a second or two).

  • 6 qts water [I used about 5 qts]

  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt [I used 1 tbsp]

Bring all of the ingredients to a boil, then simmer for about 2 hours. Meanwhile fry out 2 thick slices of salt pork. Add pork and grease to the above; cover; stir occasionally. When potatoes are tender, clams are ready.

Maybe the bacon and salt pork in the above recipes isn't very heart healthy...but it sure makes the clams tasty.


If any of our readers would like a chance to win this beautiful Ocracoke quilt, just click on the photo below to purchase raffle tickets (please keep in mind that the photo and description on the re-direct page is last year's quilt; you will be purchasing tickets for a chance to win the quilt pictured below.)

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke native Major General Ira Thomas Wyche. You can read the complete story here:


  1. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Good morning Clam chowder sounds wonderful. Think I'll try the clams casino too. How soon do you think they wil be arriving? LOL THANKS SO MUCH. Wish you best of luck with the storm.

  2. Philip I'm getting worried reading this. Am driving over Sunday (I hope) for a week. Sure hope I can get there from one direction or another. Will keep reading the updates.
    Bridget Booth

  3. I think you will have no problems on Sunday. In all liklihood the ferries will be in operation again Friday morning. Just check to be sure...and check road conditions also.

  4. By the way my trip to the island this week is partly because I will be joining the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society during their annual event next weekend. Each year we visit one of the OB's lighthouses and this year it is Ocracoke. We have permission to climb it so it will be special indeed. This will mark my 3rd time seeing the inside of the lighthouse but first time climbing to the top.

  5. Made a big pot of clam chowder today. Not quite as good as going out into the sound and raking my own, but the best that could be managed here in the Hudson Valley! Tastes like OCRACOKE (almost)!!!