HPIM1479 Record-breaking cold and I seem not to be the best of friends these days. I still prefer cold to heat. After all, while one can always pile on more layers, there’s a limit to what I can take off! Even with my preference for chill over heat, I still crave comfort food this time of year more than anything else. Some folks may swear by chicken soup or chili, but for me New England Clam Chowder has always hit the spot when I feel like a walking ice cube.

And here is my recipe for comfort:

4 medium potatoes, pared and sliced
1/4 lb. bacon
1 cup chopped onion (white or yellow are best)
1 cup chopped celery
5 T. butter
5 T. flour
3 cups milk
1 cup bottled clam juice
3 6 oz. cans of minced clams (do NOT drain!)
1/2 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper

Boil potatoes in salted water until done (10-15 min) and drain. While potatoes cooking, fry up the bacon in Dutch oven. Set cooked bacon aside on paper towels while you saute the onions in celery in bacon drippings over medium heat. Cook onions/celery until soft but do not brown. Add butter to pan and when melted, stir in flour. Add milk and clam juice, stirring constantly until thickened. Add potatoes, clams, thyme, salt and pepper. Heat throughout, but do not boil. Serve hot and garnished with crumbled bacon.

So, what’s your favorite comfort food for freezing weather?

-Lynn Spencer