In the July 2001 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, novelist Peter Smith reflects upon the clambakes of his childhood, and how the shellfish played a role in some of the most important moments of his life.

You too can send in the clams with Chef Art Smith's low-fat take on a traditional Cape Cod recipe!
Servings: Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup diced white onions
  • 2/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cans (6 1/2-ounce) chopped clams  juice and clams reserved separately (see note below)
  • 2 bottles (8-ounce) clam juice
  • 1 ounce piece of turkey bacon
  • 1 cup of 2 percent milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions
Note: Or substitute 1 quart fresh shelled clams and juice and only 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice.

Put the potatoes and enough water to cover in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook 10 minutes until tender, then drain and set aside.

In another large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and celery; sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes until the flour is just golden; remove from heat.

In the same pan used for the potatoes, mix the clam juice from the drained clams, the bottled clam juice, and the turkey bacon and bring to a boil. Simmer the mixture 1 minute. Gradually whisk the hot clam juice into the flour-and-vegetable mixture until smooth. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, milk, and salt; heat through, stirring often. (Do not bring liquid to a boil or it will separate.) Stir in clams and just heat through, about 1 minute.

How Art reduced the fat: Art reduced the amount of butter from 2 tablespoons to one. He also substituted turkey bacon for the salt pork originally called for, and replaced the light cream with 2% milk. Art's changes cut out about 100 calories and reduced the fat by two-thirds!

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