Use a decent white wine for this also, the bonus is you get to drink the rest of the bottle while you eat ;-). You know the saying, "Don't buy a bottle of wine to cook with if you wouldn't drink it."
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cans (6.5 ounces each) chopped clams, drained and juices reserved
3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
salt and white pepper to taste
I first drained my clams into a pyrex measuring cup. As you can see, canned clams are packed with a lot of juice. I got 2 cups of juice from the four cans (and we'll use all of it for the chowder).
In a medium, microwave safe bowl (I used my measuring cup again), whisk together the potato flakes, bottled clam juice, and cornstarch. It will get thick and somewhat stiff. Microwave the mixture on "high" for about 1 minute--this ensure the potato flakes are fully dissolved when we add it to the pot.
Add the potato mixture to the pot, and stir gently, but thoroughly. Let it come back to a simmer for a couple of minutes...it should thicken nicely.
Add the clams, half-and-half, and parsley, and stir to combine. At this point, just heat the chowder through over very low heat...you do NOT want it to boil, otherwise it will curdle on you, which is not pretty!).
Season to taste with salt and pepper. When I made a pale soup, I like to use white pepper, but black pepper works just fine (it's just me!).
Ladle into a soup bowl and serve immediately. I realize photographing this chowder in a white bowl wasn't the best thing to do...but it's all I have!
This really hit the spot last night after the kids had been playing outside in the gorgeous, cool twilight. Hope you like it as much as we did.
God bless your table tonight!