For the chowder: In a 6-quart pot lined with a pasta basket or pasta insert, bring 1 gallon salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the Potato and Chive Gnocchi to the pot and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
In a medium saute pan set over medium to low heat, cook the bacon until almost crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until translucent, about 30 seconds. Add the clams and Clam Stock. At this point remove the gnocchi from the pasta water and add it to the saute pan. Turn the heat to high and reduce the liquid by one-third, about 30 seconds. Add the heavy cream, butter and lemon juice. Continue to cook over high heat until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about another 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and season with salt and black pepper.
In a separate, small bowl, combine the celery leaves, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss until coated and season with salt and black pepper.
To plate, spoon the gnocchi into a bowl and pour sauce over the top. Garnish with Crispy Shallots and top with the dressed celery leaves.
Potato and Chive Gnocchi
While still hot, remove the skins from the potatoes. Pass the potatoes through a ricer or a sieve onto a clean work surface. Mix the riced potatoes, butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, egg and chives together until fully incorporated. Form the potato mixture into a square and top with the flour. Using a bench scraper, cut the flour into the potato mixture until completely incorporated. The dough should be tender to the touch and just a tiny bit moist. Do not overwork the dough or the gnocchi produced will be tough. Let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes, covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
Once the dough has rested, divide the dough into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, make snakes with each piece of dough by using your hands and rolling the dough back and forth. Then, using a bench scraper, cut each length of dough into 1/2-inch pieces. One serving is 15 pieces.
Purge the clams in cold salted water for about 2 hours. This will remove any sand and grit from the clams.
Place the littleneck clams into a pot with the garlic, carrots, celery, onions, cracked black peppercorns, parsley, thyme and bay leaves. Cover the clams with 1 gallon water, and then cover the pot with foil. Bring to a boil on the stove until the clams have opened, about 10 minutes. Strain all the liquid and pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any sand. Reserve the liquid as our clam stock. Then pick all the meat from the clams and reserve for the chowder.
Soak the sliced shallots in the milk for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 250 degrees F.
While the shallots are soaking, combine the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne and paprika and mix thoroughly. Then remove the shallots from the milk and squeeze out all the liquid. Lightly coat them with the seasoned flour. Fry the shallots until they are a light golden color, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Brian Lofink, The Sidecar Bar and Grille