Arsip Tag: clams
One of my favorite things — although, honestly, it’s not easy to choose — we ate in Portugal was small clams cooked in a garlic wine sauce, usually with cilantro and always only eaten with bread, which I learned when we went to one of those* restaurants on the beach one night where you pick your dinner from what’s been caught that day and everyone is a little vague about preparations because they assume you already know. “How are the clams prepared?” “What do you mean? Steamed!” “And they’re served with…?” “Well, in Portugal, we eat clams with bread, only bread. Would you like something else?” And so it was.
The dish, called Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato, is named after the 19th century Lisbon poet Bulhão Pato, who was known to be a gourmand. It’s usually a first course. And, no, this isn’t officially it — unable to follow the simplest directions, I replaced the olive oil with butter, threw in some shallots, used parsley instead of cilantro because I killed my cilantro already and added red pepper flakes. But we did eat it with bread. And more of the wine (I mean, the bottle was now open so we were basically obligated) and intentionally or not, managed to unlock my new favorite date night dinner, even if you are sharing your table with little people disinterested in wine-steamed clams.
Wait, hear me out. Once your clams are clean, this is a 7-minute meal. You get to eat garlic, wine and butter steamed tiny sweet clams over grilled bread with a fistful of fresh herbs and little tumbler wine on the side and it feels like you should be in a restaurant overlooking a beach sunset somewhere and not your junior four in the East Village with a view of the guy who yells at the trash can all day. I know I claim to be wildly opposed to cooking separate meals for the younger and older components of your family (I am! I am!) but if one was ever to make an exception, to just make them the tortellini or fish sticks or grilled chicken and broccoli they’d rather have anyway, I vote for this, something that feels indulgent and luxurious despite being light and quick. And I vote for you to make these tonight.
* (because they’re everywhere and this is why Portugal must be heaven)
One year ago: Oat and Wheat Sandwich Bread
Two years ago: Cucumber Lemonade
Three years ago: Fudgy Chocolate Sheet Cake
Four years ago: Homemade Wheat Thins
Five years ago: Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar
Six years ago: Monkey Cake
Seven years ago: Look What We Baked!
Eight years ago: Bread Without A Timetable
Nine years ago: Cream Cheese Noodle Kugel
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Apricot Hazelnut Brown Butter Hamantaschen
1.5 Years Ago: The Consolation Prize (A Mocktail)
2.5 Years Ago: Sizzling Chicken Fajitas
3.5 Years Ago: Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon Torte
4.5 Years Ago: Carrot Cake Pancakes
Garlic, Wine and Butter Steamed Clams
- 1 1/2 pounds small (I used Manila) clams
- 2 thick slices country or sourdough bread
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to brush bread (optional)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
- 1 large or 2 small shallots, minced or 1/4 cup minced white onion
- Salt and red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs — parsley, cilantro, chives or a mix
- 1 lemon, in wedges
While they’re soaking, grill or broil your bread: Dab both sides lightly with olive oil, if using, and grill or broil until well-toasted on both sides.
Lightly scrub your clams. Discard any with chipped shells.
In a large saute pan with a lid, melt butter and add garlic, shallots, salt and pepper flakes. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over medium-high. Add wine — and as soon as it simmers, add all the clams and cover with a lid. In three minutes, almost all should be wide open; discard any that do not open. Transfer to a bowl and ladle cooking liquid over. Scatter with herbs and serve with grilled bread and lemon.
It’s only the first day of summer and I’m already weeks deep into our unofficial dish of it, linguine alle vongole, preferably hastily prepared about 10 to 15 minutes before we dive in, eaten outside with a current favorite rosé, caprese salad and a massive bowl of kale caesar (from SKED). It’s infinitely summery. It’s pasta, but I don’t feel like I need a nap after I eat it. And hey, there’s even a t-shirt to go with it (hat tip).
You do not need one fancy thing to make it, save the freshest clams you can find. You can pick them up on the way home from the beach or sprinkler park or wherever you’re going to spend your summer day now that cooking will be the easiest part of it. I prefer manila clams, as they’re smaller and, I’m convinced, sweeter, but littleneck or cherrystone are fine as well. From there, a glug of oil, red pepper flakes, a lot of garlic, a cup of wine, a bag of dried pasta, a lump of butter, a squeeze of lemon, and a pile of chopped parsley, and boom, so easy let’s do it again every week.
The only thing I’m extremely bad at when I make it is measuring, which I’m sure fills you with confidence right now. If you were interviewing me as I was cooking it and said “how much garlic did you just chop?” I’d be like an impenetrable grandmother and say “some” but I mean “a lot” and possibly even “all of it” (it = a head of garlic) when I double this. We’ll call it 7 cloves. Whaaat, you say, did you invite vampires over? But it settles in so well with the other ingredients, it will still not be the first thing you taste. If you ask me how much olive oil I put in the pan to heat the garlic, I’d say, “a glug” or “just coat the pan.” Parsley? A big handful. Butter? A lump. (Note: Every cook who has ever told you they added only a “pat” of butter lies.) Pepper flakes? As much as your crew can handle. Salt? Go for it. Pasta? Eh, about a pound, but what I really mean is, if you guys are a 7 to 8 servings to a pound bag people, do that here; if you’re 3 or 4 to a pound, do that instead. Clams? Well, are clams-as-centerpiece or clams-as-accent people? Depending on where you fall, you might want a scant 1/2 to a generous 3/4 pound per person. Shown here is the latter, and it’s doubled, and this isn’t even all of them, and we still only had pasta left at the end of the meal, and this was just a normal Sunday for my husband’s family, which is why I love them. Know your audience. Written below are more middle-of-the-road amounts that will make most people happy.
A few other things I hope to head off before anyone asks:
– Deb, I don’t eat clams: Try this with mussels! Or shrimp, although I’d sauté or grill them instead of steaming them.
– Deb, I don’t eat fish at all: Ah! I really want to make this with either chickpeas or artichokes, but be ready to tweak flavors as needed, as clams provide their own flavorful broth in a way that these ingredients will not. In both cases, you are now allowed to finish it with parmesan. If you wish to finish the seafood version with parmesan, just warn me before you tell me so I can cover my ears.
– Deb, I don’t want to eat pasta: My favorite pasta swap is actually white beans, either giant (like we do here) or smaller ones more readily available in cans. Maybe you cook dried beans like these chickpeas and pour the warm clams and their juices over them?
– Deb, I really only care about the clams: On it! Try these garlic, wine, and butter steamed clams with grilled bread, Portuguese-style.
– Deb, I only want to make the caprese salad: (How did you know what my lunch was!) I take two approaches to caprese salad when I’m using grocery store (and not recently-picked, peak-season tomatoes, still a couple weeks off here): 1. Find the best ones you can get and season them well. 2. Find the best ones you can get and slow-roast half of them. This combination of some tart/chewy tomatoes and fresh ones is addictive, and hides a multitude of tomato imperfections. In both cases, add mozzarella or burrata, a few leaves of fresh basil, olive oil, and coarse salt to taste. Balsamic vinegar is not traditional on authentic caprese, but you should make food the way you like it. I add a few drops when the tomatoes are mediocre.
One year ago: Stovetop Americanos, Easy Drop Berry Shortcakes and Zucchini Grilled Cheese
Two years ago: Strawberry Milk, Corn and Black Bean Weeknight Nachos, and Funnel Cake
Three years ago: Saltine Crack Ice Cream Sandwiches, Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes, Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie
Four years ago: Valerie’s French Chocolate Cake and Limonada de Coco
Five years ago: Espresso Granita with Whipped Cream
Six years ago: Broccoli Parmesan Fritters and Cold Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime Chicken
Seven years ago: Rich Homemade Ricotta and Linguine with Pea Pesto
Eight years ago: Shaved Asparagus Pizza, Root Beer Float Cupcakes and Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade
Nine years ago: Lemon Mint Granita, Pickled Sugar Snap Peas, and Springy Fluffy Marshmallows
Ten years ago: Dead Simple Slaw + 6 Heat Wave Reprieves, 10 Paths to Painless Pizza-Making, and Pistachio Petit Four Cake
Eleven years ago: Gateau de Crepes
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Dutch Apple Pie
1.5 Years Ago: Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts and Homemade Irish Cream
2.5 Years Ago: Potato Kugel, Pull-Apart Rugelach, Tres Leches Cake and a Taco Party
3.5 Years Ago: Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix and Gingerbread Biscotti
4.5 Years Ago: Sweet Potato Cake with Marshmallow Frosting, Cigarettes Russes Cookies, and Sugared Pretzel Cookies