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Recipe: The Cliff House Clam Chowder from The Cliff House in Ogunquit, Maine

User Rating 4 out of 5
40 Reviews
36 out of 40 users would make it again
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
LOVE!!November 12, 2012 By jojophina
I followed directions just doubled everything. I have a large family and there was not one complaint!The house blend of spices just made it so flavorful!I will never be satisfied by any other New England Clam Chowder recipe! I even picked to have this for my birthday!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
The Very BestFebruary 12, 2012 By EMR.Powell
I have made many different New England Clam Chowder meals. This spices recipe is, by far, the best my family, friends and I have used.""WE LOVE IT"".
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Very GoodJanuary 22, 2012 By barbskid1963
I tinkered with the recipe a little bit. I like my chowder a little bit thicker. I added more flour and half and half. I used a 10 oz can of Whole clams and alittle more potato. Over all the flavor and the Cliff House Spice were very good.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
YUMMYDecember 09, 2011 By buttabing
Towards end of making I read reviews. glad I chose this recipe.Added a little salt a pinch of crushed red pepper and a little more flour,cream because I like it thicker. I saw some were complaining not enough clams.No problem here I used a 10 oz can anyway.Some used lemon,I didn't because I serve it with a wedge of lemon and black pepper on the side anyway !
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
This is the real deal !!!!August 07, 2011 By doxierescue
I've made this recipe twice and everyone goes gaga over it. I did add another strip of bacon and a can of baby clams to it. No other recipe comes close to this, it takes me back to my New England childhood. Absolutely fabulous !
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
July 08, 2011 By cookingsenior
This is a great clam chowder. I love the Cliff House Spice Blend and would like to know on what other kinds of food would it be equally good
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Clam Chowder!June 25, 2011 By pRISTYN
This is the best I have ever had! Thank you for the recipe!
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
This is the ORIGINAL recipeMarch 30, 2011 By kjonyou
There seems to be two versions of Clam Chowder from the Cliff House. This looks like the original based on older style of cooking and it is delicious. The other one on the Cliff House Web site is completely different. If you bother to read carefully, they brag about their chef's new recipe winning 3rd place in a cook off. It looks like the place is being turned into a spa. I am guessing some manager couldn’t resist putting their stink on what was already perfected, forcing a chef to change the recipe to look more modern. Personally, I think if you are famous for a particular recipe for over 100 years I don’t think you should change it.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
mmmmmmDecember 31, 2010 By 86753091
i used this recipe for the spice mix...it is really good. a lot of clam or seafood recipes do not have any spice except for s and p. the only thing i added was cayanne pepper, only because i like a lot of heat...it was delicious!!! we go fishing at least once a year on the pacific and catch a lot of salmon and halibut. this spice mix is great for halibut chowder...my recipe is so easy...here it is. 5 med potatoes,one onion, 6 slices thick smokey bacon,one beer,one box chicken stock,one cup half and half cream,two lbs halibut,and one cup sharp cheddar cheese and if u like corn add a can of that too, and one heaping tbsp of the cliff house spice mix. in a non stick pan, fry bacon till almost crisp and then add onion...cook until done. in a large pot, boil cut up potatoes in the chicken stock and beer mixture until done, add bacon,onion,spice,cream and corn,bring to a simmer and add halibut chunks at the very end along with the cheese,let simmer a couple of minutes and season with salt and pepper,then enjoy the best halibut chowder i've ever had.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Cliff House Chowder RecipeDecember 10, 2010 By fargingbastige
I'll start by saying that I have NEVER been a fan of clam chowder... but all I had ever had was heat&serve stuff from a can. About four years ago I was in New hampshire and Rhode Island on and off for a bit and absolutely fell in love with clam chowder. My wife, a chowder fan, ate the stuff from a can because she knew I wouldn't. Knowing that she enjoys good food (aside from canned chowder) and my new-found affection for the stuff, I set out to duplicate / develop a chowder recipe similar to what I had had up north. This one is as close as I've come thus far, although I make a couple of tweaks: double the bacon and add another can of clams when making the base recipe. I usually make at least a double batch if not triple because this stuff goes fast at my house. At first I balked a bit at the spice blend due to the number of ingredients, but I keep a pretty well-stocked kitchen and spice rack so it wasn't a huge deal. Also, as the recipe suggests, store the remainder in an air-tight container in the fridge and you're ready for the next cooking. It is simply stellar! Now, some on here have suggested that there is a Cliff House and they're recipe is on their website... I'll probably check that out when I leave here, but call it what you will, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better one than this.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 out of 5 3 out of 5
hey i need helpDecember 04, 2010 By firedude183
i think this is the recopie i will make but i like it thick due to health reasons some ppl in my fam cant have bacon or half and half for the half and half i can use a creamer but wat can i use to replcae the bacon
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 out of 5 4 out of 5
wrong recipeNovember 20, 2010 By MeanBoysGrill
this is not the right recipe you can go to the cliff house web site and get the real recipe in pdf format
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
3 out of 5 3 out of 5
Found something interesting...July 02, 2010 By natepro
I'm in the midst of making this right now... on the 20-minute simmer... and I went poking around on the internet, and discovered something interesting. There is a real Cliff House in Maine, and they do have a clam chowder on the menu, and even provide the recipe on their website... however, it's a fair bit different then the one posted here. A simple Google search will find it for you (not sure if I'm allowed to post links here), but some of the differences in the recipes (they use arrowroot to thicken it, use far more bacon, and use far more cream) seem like they would make more, and they don't have these insane amount of spices you have to mix up just to use a teaspoon of the whole mixture. I think next time I'll be giving the real thing a try.
44 of 48 people found this review helpful.
4 out of 5 4 out of 5
Just not enoughApril 11, 2010 By RFoxglove
Just not enough soup, I want more. We enjoyed it so much that the next time around I'll be making a double batch. I've read some of the reviews and agree that a few more clams would be good. ""This is from a confirmed NO clam chowder in my house!"" person. You have made me into a convert.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
WONDERFUL FLAVOR !February 28, 2010 By snobird1
I JUST MADE THIS WONDERFUL CHOWDER AND MY HUSBAND + I LOVED IT. THE ONLY THING I WILL CHANGE THE NEXT TIME I MAKE IT IS THE CONSISTANCY. WE BOTH PREFER THE BASE TO BE A LITTLE THINNER.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
1 out of 5 1 out of 5
February 16, 2010 By mlzcruzor
This is the worst clam chowder I or my husband have ever tasted. It has way too much spices which ruin the taste. also it is not creamy like other clam chowders we have tasted. If this is from an inn in Maine I think they should rethink their reciepe as this is not worth the money it cost us to make let alone whatever high price they may charge.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Cliff House Clam ChowderJanuary 20, 2010 By cookymonster
This is a simple, quick & easy reciepe to follow. After two nice bowls, (the chowder was a hit) my guests asked how many hours it took to make this chower! I did not tell them it took a little longer than it took the potato to go tender. A simple recipe.....A great chowder!!!
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
2 out of 5 2 out of 5
blandJanuary 11, 2010 By nursemanners
I made this recipe exactly as written except for I added chopped celery. It was bland in taste, not clammy tasting at all. I will make it again, but will double or triple the amount of clams stated. It was thick, just like I like. Just needs more clams.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
1 out of 5 1 out of 5
Ciliff clam ChowderJanuary 05, 2010 By jaynelu
I made it to the tea and it didn't turn out. It was runny and didn't have any taste. Please write me and maybe you can tell me what I might have done wrong. Thank you
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Delicious Clam ChowderNovember 15, 2009 By stellalaluna
I have recently traveled to the East Coast and my husband and I sampled New England Clam Chowder with every meal and so I too have been wanting to make my own delicious chowder. This is the first recipe I have tried and loved it!! I too however, would definitely add more flour to thicken and way more clams. I will fine tooth this yummy chowder with these and probably a few other modifications but am sure this will be a regular meal!! It does go very well with the recommended corn bread. AND I can't wait to see what these delicious spices will do to other meals. I did purchase fresh spices for the soup and I am sure that made a big difference in the fresh flavor and aroma.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
4 out of 5 4 out of 5
Great Soup!!!October 09, 2009 By bnkbehringer
It was the best clam chowder ever!!!!!! The only thing I change in the soup was instead of half and half i used 2 cans 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup(undiluded) and 2 cans 2 % evaporated milk! I am trying to keep the fat and calories down in the soup!!! Plus I add carrots for more nutrition!!!! My 7 year old, 3 year old and husband all had 2nds!!!!!
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
cliff house plusMarch 14, 2009 By AL_WHITING
Im from Vancouver Canada on the Pacific ocean and we love our seafood,i always over do my recipes as im a single dad and love leftovers, i saute'd 5 cubed spuds,baby carrots,celery,onion and 2 diced garlic cloves in the bacon fat i already cooked...i thew it all in a pot with a can of clam nectar, a can of chicken broth and the juice of 2 cans of clams. I added a flour roue ,chopped bacon and sprinkled in most of the cliff house spices from the jars(which makes the all the difference)and added a cup or so of half and half. i even diced up a can of canned spuds and juice to thicken it up. Add the clams at the end....AWESOME!!! thanks for the tip cliff house!! AL
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
2 out of 5 2 out of 5
I had to doctor it...February 13, 2009 By Hillerious
I followed the recipe exactly (and no, I did not mess up with the spices, that was not an issue). I simply found the recipe largely flavorless. Maybe my spices were not fresh enough, or I used the wrong kind of onion... whatever the reason, it was initially a flavorless recipe. I ended up doctoring it with more bacon, thickening it (flour mixed in with some more reserved clam juice), adding salt, and a dash of lemon juice. In the future I would also add more clams as well. I usually find several good reviews make for a sure thing in a recipe, but this was actually very disappointing. I hope it was something I did, but I would advise future discoverers of this recipe to be prepared to doctor it.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Easy Easy Easy!!!!!February 10, 2009 By SliceOL
I LOVE Clam Chowder. I really like this recipe because it is SO easy using canned clams and bottled clam juice. I made a batch of the Spice Blend and keep it on hand. I always have at least one can of clams and a bottle of clam juice, usually two. With that, I can put this chowder together in minutes....just chop an onion and some garlic, boil a couple potatoes (I use red) and lunch or dinner is ready! The Spice Blend is the secret....great recipe!
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
EASY TO LIGHTENFebruary 10, 2009 By KaraltonFulton
OK, so this recipe would be FANTASTIC with half & half, I did use skim milk and the flavor was still wonderful. I did increase the amount of flour from one to three tablespoons to thicken a bit since I used skim milk. I did decrease the Spice Blend from 1 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon. I usually increase herbs/spices, but this is pretty hardy.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Excellent chowderJanuary 18, 2009 By SVLH
I stumbled across this while searching for a good chowder recipe. I made it, but never said it was from The Cliff House, and my family loved it! But, the funny part of the story is...when my husband (a chowderholic, LOL) tasted it, he said ""This tastes like it's from The Cliff House in Maine!"" Turns out years ago he'd been there while on a business trip and still remembered how good it was!
113 of 115 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Cliff House Clam ChowderDecember 28, 2008 By cecil9
Concerning the negative reviews in regard to the overbearing spices: The problem, I think, lies in the popup that covered the amount of spice to use. The site I looked at had this problem. The recipe called for a lot of spices mixed together, but the popup covered the amount to be used so it was natural for someone to just dump in all the spices called for. The truth, as I discovered later, was that the bulk of mixed spices was to be refrigerated and only one spoonful was to be assigned to each recipe. Once that hurdle was crossed, the result was an exceptional clam chowder. And one for which I have a ready cache of spices! Make no mistake, this is an excellent chowder. However, I do agree that a bit more flour ought to be added for thickness.
53 of 55 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
O U T S T A N D I N G! ! ! ! !December 21, 2008 By Ms_Barnes
My family and friends love this chowder! I have been making this recipe for the last 8 months, and will again by request next week with christmas dinner. Be sure to follow dirctions as others have pointed out. and I have found little red potatos to be the BEST and about 3 tablespoon more flour to thicken it up nicely. -add flour slowly to avoid clumping. lastly, its always better the next day after it has had the chance to sit over night :) I have found when I am making ahead of time its best to leave the clams out until the day u are ready to serve. that day, bring to temperature on low or in crockpot on low and add clams about 10mins prior to serving - this will ensure them to be soft and not too chewy and over cooked. :)!! YUMM!
61 of 62 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
The bestDecember 17, 2008 By Sadsuz
I've had lots of clam chowder and this is by far the best. I agree, the bad reviews must not have followed the directions. Everyone in my family loved it. I used chicken stock instead of clam juice and it was DELICIOUS!
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
AMAZING New England Clam ChowderOctober 28, 2008 By LindaONeal
One word....perfect. The seasonings make all the difference! Well worth the little bit of extra effort! Thanks for posting!
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Awesome Chowdah!October 28, 2008 By achavira8
I can only say that those who made this recipe and gave it a poor review most likely didn't follow the directions!! What a awesome chowder, I love chowder and being that this is my first one to make ever I was leary on making something that had that ""can"" taste... Was I wrong!! This is a super easy soup to make!! Just make sure you read the recipe more than once and understand there are two recipes here. One for the herb seasonings and the soup itself! I would make a few changes to it but that is a personal taste issue and not the recipe itself.. I like it thicker so I figure another half tbs of flour to thicken it up and a few dashes of tabasco to give it a bit of heat and vinegar taste!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Read the recipe!October 27, 2008 By ozon45
Okay, I didn't make this yet but I will. My son loves New England Clam Chowder. Make sure you read the recipie; a few folks commented that all those spices were overbearing. You only use 1 tsp and save the rest for next time. Bon Appetit!
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 out of 5 1 out of 5
Too Many SpicesJune 06, 2008 By maineflytyer
I followed the recipe to the letter. Although it wasn't ""disgusting"", the quantity of spices overwhelmingly masked the delicate flavor of the clams. As such, what's the point of making clam chowder, if you can taste only the spices, and not the clams themselves? It's a good basic recipe; however, the next time I make it, I'll eliminate the Cliff House spice blend altogether.
3 of 15 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
This Chef has it togetherMay 29, 2008 By Coachsrgnt
I have traveled all over the world and eaten myself huge. This is by far the best thing since sliced bread. I make this chowder for any and all of our guest that visit. I try and make it for the family at least once a month. 2 Thumbs up on this recipe!!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 out of 5 4 out of 5
My whole family loved it!April 08, 2008 By joyfulcheer
Wonderful recipe. I have a large family of six and doubled the recipe for a main course w/ oyster crackers and a caesar salad. YUM! I did make a few adjustments: substituted half the onions w/ minced leeks, and instead of half-n-half, I used a combo of 3/4 cream and 1/4 milk. The spice mix has a wonderful aroma. I would definately make this again.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Cliff House Clam Chowder is excellentFebruary 16, 2008 By Eric83
I have made this recipe several times, initially following the directions (except using fresh clams) and it is excellent. The Cliff House Spice Blend is a terrific combination of flavors. To make it with fresh clams is really easy. Just get a couple of pounds of small sized clams (Maine or Little Neck). Wash/scrub shells. In a large sauté pan, put about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of water. Boil and add the clams. Cover until they start to open. As they open, take each of the open clams out of the water and set aside. Once all of the clams are removed, you have your clam juice. Once they cool off, take the clams out of the shells, and discard the shells. I like to use the clams whole. Follow recipe accordingly. Another variation is to do make this into a New England fish soup. Before “stirring the flour and clam juices in”, add sliced chunks of white meat fish (cod, scrod, flounder). Cook for several minutes and then proceed with recipe. You can also add scallops and raw shrimp and even fresh shucked oysters, but be sure to do that towards the end as scallops, shrimp and oysters tend to get chewy if they are cooked too long. I now keep a container of The Cliff House Spice Blend all made up and ready for use in my spice drawer – it is that good.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
1 out of 5 1 out of 5
DISASTERJanuary 12, 2008 By renachristine
this recipe was a disaster for me. I put all of the spices which was a over kill. Then I spent over an hour trying to fix it......................ended up throwing it away. The recipe said to add all the spices together and store in the refrig. and then it said to add spices to the pot it did not say a certain amount so I put all in.
3 of 39 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Best chowder recipe everNovember 24, 2007 By crab.pot
I have been a clam chowder lover for my entire life and have been able to sample chowder from Kennebunk, Maine to Newport, Oregon to San Francisco, Californina and this is the best recipe that I have ever come across. I was a solid fan of Alioto's clam chowder (San Francisco) until now. My son and I went out and dug the clams fresh and within 24 hours my wife had made this recipe and it was the best ever.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Loved this ChowderNovember 17, 2007 By jeanrus
This chowder was really really good! I had doubled the ingredients except the onion, and did not use tarragon,or basil i was out. even without these 2 ingredients, the chowder was really good especially the next day. I will definately pass this recipe on to my family and friends. Oh, yeah I also made garlic toast on the side with some hard rolls. Very filling soup our appetite was satisfied!!!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Awesome Clam ChowderNovember 10, 2007 By jessmeinhardt
I just started liking clam chowder about 2 years ago and then had the itch to try and make it myself. Although there are may spices involved in this recipe, it's worth every bit. I've made this recipe about 5 times now and every time I'm asked to shre the recipe!
94 of 95 people found this review helpful.

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