This recipe comes from Derek’s Italian side of the family (the Oliverio Family). As is traditional for most Italian families, when this side of the family gets together there is almost always delicious food involved. Bratten’s Seafood Grotto was, at one time, a beloved Salt Lake restaurant. It was opened from 1953-1988. I’m sure restaurant options were limited in Salt Lake 7 decades ago, and Bratten’s was one of the first specialty restaurants in Salt Lake. At Bratten’s Utahns were able to enjoy big-city delicacies like crab legs, lobster tails, and oysters on the half shell. It was a favorite spot for birthdays, anniversaries, first dates and special occasions. On weekends, there was often a 45 minute wait. The favorite side dish served at Bratten’s was their creamy clam chowder. Derek’s Dad’s cousin Melissa and her husband often went to Bratten’s when they were in college and they bullied the chefs into sharing the recipe. They served this soup at that daughter Cydney’s (Derek’s second cousin) wedding. This claim chowder is legit. I’ve had the famous Ivar’s clam chowder on the Pier in Seattle, but I honestly like this Bratten’s Clam Chowder better. I think the few things that really put this chowder above the average is how the vegetables are boiled in clam juice and the white pepper. I suppose you could use plain black pepper, but I tell you the white pepper makes this soup.
- Two 6.5 oz cans chopped clams
- 1 C onions, chopped
- 1 C celery, chopped
- 2 C potatoes, chopped (with or without the skin whatever you preference)
- 3/4 C butter
- 3/4 C flour
- 1 quart 1/2 and 1/2
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Put veggies in a medium sauce pan. Add juice from clams and enough water to just cover the vegetables.
- Simmer covered, over medium heat until potatoes are tender (about 20 mins).
- In the meantime, melt butter in a large sauce pan.
- Add flour and cook until well blended (1-2 minutes)
- Slowly add the half and half (I generally warm it a bit in the microwave first) and stir with a wire whisk until thick.
- Add undrained veggies to the cream mixture.
- Add salt, pepper, sugar, and clams.