So when we were at The Swinery the other day we just couldn’t resist buying a piece of dry chorizo. There was no question as to what we would do with it – Portuguese clams and sausage!
I had a little trouble finding a recipe for clams and chorizo, to my surprise – it’s a fairly common restaurant dish, but it wasn’t in any of my Portuguese or Spanish cookbooks. When I did finally find one (in Bruce Aidells’ Book of Pork) I ended up mostly ignoring it, but I did follow his general idea. I chopped some garlic and sauteed it in olive oil, then added the diced chorizo. I cut up a rather spicy little pepper that I picked from one of my plants and tossed that in along with a good handful of fresh tomatoes (mostly Stupice, with a few Sungold and Sweet Million). Some chopped parsley and a sprig of thyme, also from my garden, then a half glass of white wine and some chicken stock to make a nice broth.
When all that had come to a good sprightly bubble, I put in the clams and let them open, stirring gently to make sure they all came in contact with the other flavors. It was particularly charming how the clamshells collected little piles of sausage and pepper and tiny tomatoes. With a few pieces of Breadfarm potato bread to soak up the broth and a glass of chilled Verdejo, this was a dinner I’d be delighted to eat in any restaurant.
I can’t remember when I started making quiche. In the early years of my marriage when I was vegetarian I made lots of things out of the Moosewood cookbooks, especially things like the ricotta-spinach pie and big gooey casseroles. Eventually I discovered the “quiche formula” in the Enchanted Broccoli Forest and I was converted.
Basically, the idea is that as long as you have the right proportions of egg and milk for the size of pan you’re using, and plenty of cheese to coat the bottom and protect the crust from sogginess, you can put whatever the heck you want in there. It’s easy to make and easy to remember (I made two quiches from scratch, from memory, for a wedding in Knik, Alaska, and felt very smug about it). I have tried many things, from chard and mushrooms to broccoli and ham, and they all come out pretty good. But the winner in our household, especially in the late summer when peppers are in season, is my patented Chorizo-Poblano Quiche. It’s rich and spicy with lots of cheesy goodness, set off by the whole-wheat flavor of the crust. We make this as often as possible every fall while we can get beautiful fresh poblano peppers from our friend Steve at Dunbar Gardens. The loose Mexican-style chorizo comes from a local producer as well, Hempler’s in Bellingham. Continue reading