Ventura is awesome. There is amazing food to enjoy – from the great salads you can eat at the marina, to the super fresh fish tacos at the pier, to the fancy local food at ”Side Car” restaurant. On my last trip though, it wasn’t one of those meals that stayed in my memory, it was the clam chowder our host Chris prepared for us.
Chris is a great cook, and her husband eats a dairy free diet – so she makes chowder using coconut milk. That adds incredible flavor and gives a new side to a dish you may have enjoyed hundreds of times before. Using coconut milk makes it all new and exiting! I have made this a few times since I got back and we have really enjoyed it. No leftovers.
Let me say this in the beginning, if you use anything but plain coconut milk, you will regret trying, so make sure the kind you have in unsweetened and unflavored. Anything from a can should work. Anything where they tried to make coconut milk taste like actual milk should work. We prefer cans because you can find ones that only contain coconut and water, minus thickeners and harsh preservatives.
Here is what you need to make this awesome clam chowder with coconut milk:
2 tbsp butter or ghee
2 stalks celery
1/2 white onion
1 cup cut carrots
2 large potatoes
2 cans of chopped clams
1/2 to 1 can coconut milk (depending on the concentration)
4 cups water
salt and black pepper to taste
3-4 sprigs thyme
if desired: juice of 1/2 lemon
Chop all veggies – celery, onion, carrots, potatoes, in small pieces. Heat the ghee or butter and cook the onion and celery first, then add the carrots. Cover with water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and clams. Season with salt and pepper, add the thyme. It’s time to pour in the coconut milk and stir well. Cook for an extra 20 minutes. Serve with a slice of lemon and a sprig of parsley.