Laurent-Perrier and Manhattan

Last night (New Year’s Eve) we went to four different wine stores and none of them had G. H. Mumm (my favorite). Also, I couldn’t find a good recipe for Manhattan Clam Chowder using fresh clams. But here’s a recipe I concocted for Manhattan Clam Chowder using fresh clams and my review of the Champagne I drank instead:

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Ingredients:

• 1 28 fl. oz. can of diced tomatoes

• 2 8 fl. oz. bottles of clam juice

• 2 medium size fresh carrots cleaned and diced

• 2 celery stalks cleaned, trimmed and chopped

• 2 (raw) medium sized peeled and diced potatoes

• 1 chopped onion

• 2 cloves minced garlic

• 2 Tbsp. vegan butter

• 1 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

• 1 Tbsp. garlic powder

• 3/4 cup minced green pepper

• 2 lbs. fresh littleneck clams

Directions:

• Clean, dice, mince, chop and peel all your fresh ingredients. Set aside.

• In a large stockpot sauté vegan butter with carrots, onion, garlic, celery and green pepper for 10 to 15 minutes at a medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Add garlic powder. Sauté for another few minutes.

• Add tomatoes (with their juice), potatoes and the 2 bottles of clam juice. Bring to a boil and then let it all simmer for 30 minutes over a low heat.

• Meanwhile, sort through your fresh clams being sure to discard any that are cracked, smelly or at all open. Then soak them all in water for a few minutes and rinse once again. Afterwards, cover them in water in another stock pot and bring them to a boil on a high heat before cooking them for 15 minutes on a low heat.

• After the clams have cooked (they’ll open) separate the clams from their shells and add them to your simmering chowder. Then use a strainer to pour the clam broth from your cooked clams into the chowder base.

• Simmer another 10 minutes on low, stirring occasionally and then add your fresh chopped parsley.

• Simmer until your potatoes are at the desired degree of tenderness. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve. (Refrigerate the leftovers.)

…This chowder will be better the second day.

(I was in a silly mood and decided to eat my chowder from a vintage Charlie Brown dog food bowl instead of a regular bowl. Ha! *giggle* It was still good.)

Hmm…

The man who sold us this bottle said he liked it more than Veuve-Clicquot and I can understand. Honestly, though. And, while I didn’t love it I liked it.

…The thing is it’s not a particularly sweet Champagne and so it would likely pair very well with sweets. I can only imagine how delicious chocolate cake or a crème brûlée would be with Laurent-Perrier (La Cuvee Brut). The perfectly balanced combination of dry and sweet. Yum! But, since we had clam chowder earlier and were snacking on potato chips and roe it was lovely but I might have liked a slightly sweeter Champagne. G. H. Mumm would have worked, but of course it was basically impossible to find.

Anyway, it was interesting to try it. And a treat. AND if you’re out celebrating and you want a nice dry Champagne with your sugary mousse it might be a nice choice. Right?

If you make the chowder good luck!!

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