Minorcan Clam Chowder and Riesling

A key to figuring out the best dining spots in any city is to take a foodie tour. I took The Savory Faire ($39) tour through City Walks in St. Augustine Florida. This tasty 2 ½ hr walking tour ($39) explores the historical and cultural influences on the St. Augustine culinary scene.  From Tapas to Desserts, I ate my way through the present day culinary offerings of the City by stopping at several restaurants to sample their signature items.  My tour included a bottle of water at the start of the tour, all tastings, and a special heritage recipe gift that is included below.  Bon Appétit!

The Florida Minorcan culture began when 1403 indentured servants from the Island of Minorca, off Spain, were brought to Florida in 1768 to work on an indigo plantation in New Smyrna, Florida. When the plantation failed, they went north to St. Augustine, where they settled.

St. Augustine assimilated many foods and cultures from the Minorcans one of these is this wonderful Spicy clam chowder that you can now make at home.

Datil Peppers and Datil Pepper Hot Sauce is available online at Hot Shot Bakery and Café

Pair with a Czech or German Riesling with a slight minerality to it to cool down the scorching hot datil peppers

  • bacon chopped fine
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cups fresh clams, chopped fine, juice reserved
  • 1-2 datil peppers, minced or Datil Pepper Hot Sauce to taste
  • 2 – 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 sm can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbls thyme, crumbled
  • 1/2 tbls salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-2 bay leaves crushed
  • ·         2 cups new potatoes, diced

Sauté pork in large pot over medium heat until fat is rendered. Remove pork and set aside. Add onions, bell pepper, and cook until softened. Add clams, reserved clam juice, datil peppers, tomatoes, seasonings, and reserved pork. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer one hour. Add potatoes and cook 30-45 minutes more. Add additional stock or clam juice if too thick.

You can also add other vegetables such as carrots and celery to the dish.

Cook this dish the day before serving or early in the morning as you will want the flavors to blend. Heat up and serve with crusty bread for a hearty meal.