Mac & Cheese Chowder – Week 49: Seashore

Ah, the seashore — with its sights, sounds and salty air! And what could be better than a dockside chowder served with fresh clams?

This week’s theme inspired me to create a macaroni and cheese based on this classic New England comfort food. A creamy, flavourful chowder with corn kernels to remind us of summer, cooked au gratin with 1-year-old cheddar and garnished with crispy bacon.

And how about trying fresh clams cooked your favourite way (smoked, steamed, or fried), topped with Agropur Grand Cheddar aged 1 year and cooked under the grill?


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. In a pot, melt the butter and soften the leeks for 3 to 4 minutes. Season.
  3. Add the flour and stir 1 minute, making sure the flour doesn’t brown. Gradually add the milk and cream, beating with a whisk to obtain a smooth sauce.
  4. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly until sauce thickens.

  5. Mix 2 cups (500 ml) of the cheddar, pasta and corn into the sauce.
  6. Pour into an ovenproof dish.
  7. Top with the bacon and the rest of the cheeses, and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
  8. In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and butter together. Garnish the clams with cheese and buttered breadcrumbs. Cook under the grill until the cheese is golden and serve atop the macaroni.

Johanne Depelteau

Longueuil, Quebec

Johanne, a passionate lover of the culinary arts, has been working in television broadcasting, publishing, magazine writing and advertising for many years.

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