Spicy Clam & Corn Chowder

This take-off on a standard Manhattan clam chowder uses sweet potatoes and corn instead of the usual white potatoes. Fresh tomatoes and basil are added for a satisfying garden-fresh taste.

1 cup vermouth or dry white wine
3 large shallots, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 dozen littleneck, well scrubbed
2 cups water
3/4 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 In a large skillet, combine the vermouth, shallots, and garlic, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the clams, cover, and cook until the clams have opened, about 5 minutes. Check the clams periodically and remove them as they open. Discard any clams that do not open.
2 When cool enough to handle, remove the clams from their shells and coarsely chop. Strain the cooking liquid into a large saucepan.
3 Add the water to the cooking liquid in the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the basil, the cayenne, and salt. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.
4 Stir in the corn and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Return the chopped clams to the pan along with the remaining 1/4 cup of basil.

Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 237 calories, 1.3g total fat (0.2g saturated), 18mg cholesterol, 4g dietary fiber, 38g carbohydrate, 11g protein, 202mg sodium.