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Recipe for coconut clam chowder

Serves 4 as an appetizer

2tablespoons vegetable oil
2ounces pancetta, chopped
1shallot, finely chopped
½onion, finely chopped
1stalk celery, finely chopped
1stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
¼cup white wine
¼cup flour
1can (6½ ounces) chopped clams with their juices
1cup coconut milk
1cup regular milk
2cups water
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1medium russet potato, peeled and finely chopped
¾cup heavy cream
2tablespoons green curry paste
Juice of ½ lime
10manilla or littleneck clams in their shell, washed
Crushed red peppers (for garnish)
Few sprigs Thai or regular basil, leaves chopped (for garnish)

1. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the pancetta, and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes. Add the shallot, onion, celery, and lemongrass. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Pour in the wine and simmer to reduce by half. Add the flour, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until the liquid thickens slightly.

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3. Add the canned clams and their juices with the coconut milk, regular milk, and water. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a very gentle boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.

4. In a pan of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add the potatoes and the cream to the pot. Whisk in the curry paste, and add the lime juice. Add the clams in their shells and cover the pot. In 2 or 3 minutes check to see if any clams have not opened; discard any closed clams.

5. Taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with crushed red peppers and basil.

Adapted from “L.A. Son”

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