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Clam Chowder in Bread Bowl

3-4 cups shucked or steamed chowder clams, with their juice or broth
1 1/2-inch cube salt pork, diced small
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground pepper

Measure the clam juice or broth from the shucked or steamed clams
and add water, if necessary, to make 2 1/2 cups. Cut the clams
in pieces and set aside. Cook the salt pork slowly in a small
skillet until the fat has melted and the scraps are brown. Strain,
set aside the scraps, and put 2 tablespoons of the fat in a large

Heat the fat, add the onion, and cook slowly until golden. Sprinkle
the flour over the onion and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add
the potatoes and clam juice or broth. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
Add the clams and simmer 10 minutes more, or until the clams are
cooked and the potatoes are tender. Add the milk, butter, and
pepper to taste and heat until the butter has melted. Top with a
bit of freshly-chopped flatleaf Italian parsley.

To serve, hollow out a round sourdough loaf and fill with hot
chowder. (save the scooped out bread for bread pudding, Tuscan
bread soups or homemade bread crumbs)


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