With your standard clam chowder the clams tend to be tough and chewy. Mussels have a tender texture with a mild sweet briny flavor of the sea. Mussels are so much better to use in your chowder than clams.
Makes 4 servings
1 Lb. cooked Seatech mussel meat
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 " pieces (optional)
2 tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
¾ to 1 Lb. red potatoes ¼ inch cube
1 8-oz. bottle clam juice
1 c. half-and-half
1 c. milk
oyster crackers, for serving
3 tbsp. finely chopped chives
In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Leave bacon fat in pot.
Add butter to melt, then add onion cooking until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and flour and constantly stir while cooking until the garlic is fragrant and the flour turns a pale golden, about 1 minute.
Add the clam juice, milk, and half-and-half, whisking constantly until combined. Stir in the potatoes and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add mussels and bacon and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season chowder with salt and pepper to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more half-and-half.
Garnish with chives and serve immediately.
Serve in small hallowed out sourdough loaves.