This was one of those thrown-together-out-of-what’s-on-hand dishes that worked so well I need to write it down. We had perfect little clams from Taylor Shellfish and a very spicy Mexican chorizo from Silvana Meats, both left over from a paella I had made a couple nights before, and I wanted to use them both up. I started by sauteeing an onion until very soft and sweet, added the chorizo and browned it, then added a tub of (also leftover) tapenade from the grocery store and a bit of water from the boiling pasta I had going on the side. I added the clams and nestled them into the sauce to steam open, then added a big handful of fresh parsley from the garden. That all got mixed up with thin spaghetti noodles, drizzled with a bit of extra Sicilian olive oil and eaten with a cheap Gascon wine. Fabulous. Would make again, if at all possible.
We were lucky enough to spend last weekend at our friends’ house on Whidbey Island. The weather wasn’t perfect, but it was clear enough to see the mountains, and it only rained a little on our last day (this is basically ideal spring weather for this area). And there was a beach! Continue reading
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.
For some reason I was in the mood for clams last weekend. When I began delving into cookbooks to look for some new ideas, I stumbled across the exact same recipe in both 1080 Recipes and Casa Moro. Clams and white beans: so simple, but two ingredients I had never thought of combining. We brought back a bag of fresh clams from Taylor Shellfish after our walk on Sunday, and we were good to go.
I went with the Moro recipe, since it seemed a little more interesting, but it’s still not a complicated dish. Saute garlic in wine, add cooked white beans, saffron and parsley, add clams, done. I made it a little more work by using fresh cannellini beans, bought in the pod from Dunbar Gardens, but shelling beans is a very peaceful and philosophical activity – preferably with the aid of good music and a tasty beverage.