This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

In our latest Master Class, Michael Cimarusti shares the basics of great clam chowder:

"While testing recipes a few weeks ago, something strange happened. A deep whiff of the Manhattan-style clam chowder I had just made transported me for a brief moment to my grandmother Josephine Cimarusti's kitchen in Lindenhurst, Long Island. A white-and-green striped sugar bowl with a stainless, hinged, flip-top lid sat on the kitchen table; the scent of clam cakes and chowder filled the air. Perhaps you can relate. We all have foods that we're nostalgic about. For me, chowder is one of them.

"These days, chowder is everywhere. American cooks have created countless versions; some bear little or no resemblance to the original. Chowder's venerable name is kicked about with little regard for its true importance. It's hard to find a great bowl of chowder no matter if you're in Augusta or Woonsocket, Astoria or the West Village. I've had white chowders as thick and appetizing as spackle and Manhattan chowder a hungry seagull couldn't pull a clam from."

Cimarusti shares the basic -- and essential -- ingredients to a proper chowder, along with tips for making a good clam chowder great.

This week's recipes include:

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