Here in the Pacific Northwest clam chowder is almost considered the national dish. Here is my prize winning recipe: Steamer clams, lots of steamer clams, Just steam up a 5 gallon bucket of the little morcels, what you don't eat hot out of the steamer you use for chowder, at least two cups of clam meat, sometimes it takes more than a fiver to get that many fresh steamers, depends on the kitchen help. Peal three to five pounds of Netted Jem spuds, yes variety makes a difference. Cut spuds up into 1/2" cubes, bigger is ok if you are lazy, slice up one stalk of celery into very small bits nothing larger than 1/8". Fry up four slices of real bacon, none of that lite salt type, but first cut the bacon into small chunks kinda like the celery, fry crispy. drain off the fat and discard, the fat not the bacon, the fats bad for you. now chop up a medium white onion, if the onions are strong use a small one. Size slices to about 1/2" square. saute in pan that bacon was fried in, I did not say wipe the pan out just remove the fat. onions are cooked just until they slightly brown, get them out of the pan now!
<br> When you steamed all those clams there was a lot of juice and water left, nectar, hang on to that liquid for just a little bit longer, Place add all but the liquid to a stock pot make sure you have a couple inches of free board to the rim. Now dump in the nectar just covering the solids add tap water if you need to, bring to boil and turn down to simmer for at least three hours. Longer is always better
. Add ground black pepper to taste, I like plenty. now the finish. One quart of Half n Half is added to the pot, I didn't say this was health food, now grind up 10-20 Saltine crackers to a fine powder and stir into "Hot" chowder stir briskly to thicken, drop in a half cube more or less of "Real Butter" Notice no salt was added there is plenty in the butter, bacon and crackers, This is when you salt to taste. Remove from heat let rest 5-10 min. It's real hot now. Cool chowder enough to eat it should be nice and thick and it's always better when warmed up the next day.
<br>For you land locked folks just use big cans of Gordens clams and the liquid they came in . And for the sake of all that is holy do not add corn...