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Clam and Green Chile Chili

Clams are definitely innovative in chili! However, I have always loved New England style clam chowder and thought, why not marry the flavors—using the milder green chile flavor with the spiciness of chorizo to pep it up. It works, and I hope you enjoy it too.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

8 ounces Mexican chorizo
1 cup chopped onion (1 large onion)
2 large unpeeled russet potatoes, diced
3 large green chiles, parched, peeled and chopped—can be 1, 4 ounce can or ½ cup frozen green chile
2 fresh jalapenos, minced
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin, divided
1, 15 ounce can whole kernel corn
2 cups chicken stock
2, 6 ounce cans chopped clams
6 corn tortillas, cut into very thin strips
Pequin chile, to taste, optional

1. Remove casing from chorizo and coarsely chop. Place in unheated large 5 quart pot and sauté over medium heat until the chorizo melts and cooks—about five minutes. With a spoon, remove most of fat.

2. In remaining fat, sauté the onion until clear. Add the potato, chiles, garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, corn and chicken stock. Simmer until the potato is done, about 20 minutes. Add clams and remaining cumin. Taste and adjust flavors, adding salt if desired.

3. In the meantime while the chili is simmering, preheat an oven to 425 F. Place finely cut tortilla strips on baking sheet and place in oven until crisp—about 8 to 10 minutes. When tortilla strips are first baking, squiggle with a large fork to make them curl.

4. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls, then sprinkle with pequin if desired. Or pass the pequin for those who like it spicier.

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