Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cliff House Clam Chowder Recipe

Bookmark and ShareThe Cliff House Resort and Spa in Ogunquit, Maine, is one of those places we hope to get to soon, given its coastal splendor perched atop a dramatic cliff on the coast of southern Maine. Until then, we plan to bring a Cliff House comfort dish to our home -- the Cliff House clam chowder, a comfort dish recipe dating back to 1872. As a Cliff House favorite and winner of an award at the Boston Harbor Fest in July 2003, this is a locally-made clam chowder with a reputation!

We received word from a Cliff House press release sent to us on how to make this exceptional clam chowder with the following caveat:

"All of you non-New Englanders will please note there are no tomatoes to be seen anywhere near this soup pot. The very mention of that “other place’s” version causes the Weare family—operating the Resort for generations—to shudder. In fact, the Maine legislature once introduced a bill to outlaw forever the adulteration of Maine Clam "Chowdah" with that dreaded red interloper. This recipe is fun to make, but the missing ingredient just may be eating it while longing for The Cliff House dining room view of the vast Atlantic."

Without further delay, here is the Cliff House Clam Chowder Recipe:


3 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
6 slices apple wood smoked bacon
1/2 cup white onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 large ear of native corn, kernels removed
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 cups clams, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups clam broth
3 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 cups potato, peeled and diced
5 drops Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tablespoons water


1. In a 4-quart pot, melt butter and sauté bacon until golden brown. Add diced
onions and celery, and sauté until tender and translucent.

2. Place corn kernels on a small sheet pan and roast at 350ºF for approximately 6 minutes. Set aside when finished.

3. Add clam broth, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco Sauce, potatoes and fresh herbs to the 4-quart pot. Cook for approximately 13 minutes to soften potatoes and incorporate flavors. Add heavy cream, chopped clams and corn. Bring to a boil and thicken with equal parts arrowroot and water.

Serves five!

For more resort information and recipe ideas, log onto the Cliff House Web Site.

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