Oyster Stew and Clam Chowders 

Oyster stew is a quick and easy delicious dish to make. There are two things you need to keep in mind when making the oyster stew.  First, do not let the milk boil and second do not overcook the oysters or they will become tough. 

Oyster Stew 

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup half and half or cream 
  • 2 pints fresh shucked small to medium oysters*
  • 2 cups milk 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sherry wine, optional 
  • Minced fresh parsley, optional 

*Note:  You can either drain the liquid from the oysters and discard or you can save the drained oyster liquid and add it into your broth when cooking.  The amount, if any, of the oyster liquid added to the broth is a matter of personal taste. 

In large saucepan melt butter.  Add the milk, cream and salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until hot.  Add oysters and simmer oysters just until the edges curl.  Remove from heat.  Serve oyster stew in warm bowl with a pat of butter on the top.  You can garnish the stew with the fresh parsley.  Serve sherry wine on the side for anyone who wants to add it to their bowl of oyster stew. 

There are many variations of clam chowder.  When most people think of clam chowder they are thinking of either New England clam chowder or Manhattan clam chowder.  The New England clam chowder is sometimes referred to as Boston clam chowder.  The main difference between New England and Manhattan clam chowders is the broth.  New England clam chowder has a white broth since it is a milk or creamed based broth.  Manhattan clam chowder has a red broth since it’s broth is tomato based. 

New England Clam Chowder 

  • 4 slices diced bacon1 large onion, chopped 
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed 
  • 1 ½ teas. salt
  • 3 cups half and half 
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cans minced clams, undrained 
  • 1 clove minced
  • garlic pepper to taste 

In large stockpot or Dutch oven place diced bacon and cut over medium-high heat until bacon is almost crisp.  Add onion and sauté until tender.  When onions are tender add garlic, water and potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring pan to a boil and cook potatoes uncovered until fork tender, about 15 minutes   Drain clams and reserve one-half the liquid.  Add half-and half and butter to the pan containing the water, potatoes, onion, garlic and bacon.  Add the clams and the reserved clam liquid to the chowder pot.  Heat the chowder.  Be sure you do not let the mixture boil.  

Manhattan Clam Chowder 

  • 1 ½ cups minced clams, drained
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 ½ cups water1 can diced tomatoes (16 ounces)    
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced 
  • 1 ½ cups clam juice
  • 1 teas salt 
  • ½ cup carrots, dicedground pepper to taste 
  • 3 drops hot pepper sauce, optional
  • ½ teas dried thyme 

In Dutch oven place potatoes and water and bring to a boil.  Cook potatoes until fork tender – about 10 minutes.  Add onion, bacon, tomatoes, clam juice, carrots, salt and ground pepper and thyme.  Cover pot and simmer approximately 45 minutes. Add clams to pot, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Stir in hot sauce, if desired.