This is a second-generation DeMenthe family recipe, passed down by my father, Chateaubriand deMenthe. He made clam chowder every Christmas Eve and we carry on the tradition. Merry Christmas to you, dear readers, from Crouton and Ditalini!
12 oz frozen shrimp (51/60 or 41/50 count, peeled & deveined, no tail)
1 can evaporated milk
1 can white cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 can minced clams, w/juice
1 can sliced mushrooms
2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp thyme
Fry bacon and crumble; set aside. Chop carrots and onion and puree in a blender, adding a small amount of water. Cube potatoes, dice celery, and sauté in the bottom of a large pot with the pureed carrots and onions, adding a little bacon grease, until potatoes and celery are cooked but still firm. Add other ingredients, except the bacon and thyme. Simmer (don’t allow to boil) for at least 10 minutes. Add thyme. Add bacon just before serving, and serve the chowder with good crusty bread or freshly made biscuits.
We doubled the recipe to prepare the pot of chowder in the photo. To double or triple, double or triple all ingredients except salt, which you should add to taste.
Looking for a good pre-chowder appetizer? Try boiling large shelled shrimp in beer, water, and Old Bay Seasoning, serving with sliced lemon and cocktail sauce for dipping.