Active Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Soak the little neck clams in some fresh water to remove as much sand as possible.
In a sauce pot add the white wine and bring it to a boil, continue to boil for 5 minutes. Add the little neck clams and allow them to steam for about 5 more minutes.
Once the clams have opened remove them from the pan. Pick ½ of the clam meat out of the shells and reserve the rest of the clams for later use in the recipe. Discard any broken shells and shells that have had the clam meat picked out of them.
Finley chop the clams that were removed from the shells.
Continue to simmer the liquid in the pan for 2 minutes to ensure all the alcohol has been boiled off. Strain the liquid through a 100 micron super bag. The remaining liquid is the clam stock for the recipe.
Place the cream and clam stock in a blender. Begin blending on low.
Place the apple wood chips in the smoking gun and light the chips with a stick lighter. Once the smoking gun begins producing smoke place the hose into the blender and fill it with a dense smoke. Cover the blender.
Blend on low for a minimum of 2 minutes. At this point the cream and stock will have a richness added by the smoke. If you prefer a smokier flavor allow the cream to sit in the blender with the smoke until needed. If you still prefer an even smokier flavor you can smoke the cream once more about 5 minutes after the initial smoking.
In a dry stock pot add the bacon and cook it over low heat until the fat has rendered out of it.
Add the onion, rutabaga, celery root, and sweet potato. Sweat these in the bacon fat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the butter and thyme, cook until the butter has melted and the thyme is fragrant.
Add the flour and make a roux. Mix the roux constantly while cooking until it begins to smell a bit like hazelnuts, about 1-2 minutes. Add the smoked cream and clam stock and mix it thoroughly.
The mixture will thicken at this point because of the roux. To prevent any separation of fat in this recipe gently whisk in the Ultra-sperse M and cook the chowder on low until the vegetables are fully cooked.
Add the chopped clams and whole clams with shells back to the pot.
To serve simply garnish with thinly sliced red onion and celery leaves. Be sure to get at least 2 full clams with each serving for a beautiful presentation.