Chunky Southwestern Chowder

Not being a big clam chowder fan, I was fairly certain this chowder wasn’t going to impress me. I was so wrong! When I put that first spoonful in my mouth, I was hooked. Traditional Northeast chowders are nothing more than cream, fish, and butter with a few crackers thrown in. This delicious alternative has a mild spicy flavor to it, thanks to the jalapeno pepper. It also boasts a delicate pink color and a deep smoky flavor provided by the roasted red peppers. This chowder is definitely worth making and the fat content is so low you can have 2 bowls without feeling guilty!

NUTRITION PER SERVING CALORIES 241(25% from fat); FAT 6.6g (sat 3.1g,mono 2.2g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 6.4g; CHOLESTEROL 37mg; CALCIUM 154mg; SODIUM 339mg; FIBER 4.7g; IRON 3.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 37.8g

1 jar roasted red peppers
1 jalapeno chopped
2 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams undrained
1 bacon slice (or real bacon bits out of a jar or soy bits)
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups (½-inch) cubed red potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup chardonney or other dry white wine
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
3/4 cup half-and-half
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Chop roasted red peppers and jalapeno pepper. Set aside.
Drain clams in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid.

Saute onions; add flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in reserved clam juice liquid, potato, corn, wine, and clam juice; bring to a boil.
Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potato is tender.
Stir in roasted red peppers, jalapeno, clams, half-and-half, and black pepper.
Cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Sprinkle or crumbly bacon and stir.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size 1 ½ cups)
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