60 Miles for 50 Clams

Back to the intended topic of this blog, the yearnings of my gullet. Last Saturday I improvised a dish of pan roasted cod and little neck clams with chorizo and white wine. The roasted cod was passable. I envisioned buying the thick cod center loins I used in restaurant cooking but only small tail portions were available for retail. It flaked and got lost in the haunting melange of clams and chorizo. Since then, I've thought of the dish everyday - wanting more. I rarely want to eat the same thing over and over. When I first moved in with my now Captive Husband, I prided myself on not preparing the same meal twice in 3 months. Here it is less than a week later and I'm making the dish again, sans cod.

Last week I purchased the fish at Whole Foods. I knew they would have cod and that it would be perfectly fresh. The clams were good, and even better that the cashier didn't scan the bag right and they weren't on my receipt. I would have bought it up had I looked at the receipt before I got all the way home. But today, I had to go to THE place to get clams, Hatfield Seafood in Delaware. Not Delaware county PA, Delaware the state. 60 miles round trip from my home in the 'burbs. In doing so I saved some $$ because Whole Foods has the unseen 'Gourmet Tax' added into it's prices. At Hatfield Seafood the only ambiance is a huge lobster tank and a smell that will stay with the building forever. The offerings were expansive, crayfish, all kinds of shell fish, shad roe, shark, monk fish and bacon wrapped everything. All restaurant ready picture perfect. I also picked up 2 stuffed crabs, a nice appetizer before we dig into the clams.
First I saute some spicy cured Spanish chorizo in a good amount of olive oil so it permeates all ingredients. Then I add to the chorizo a large diced onion to sweat and a goodly amount of garlic. Clams love garlic so when you think you have enough, add a few more cloves. Add a fresh bay leaf and salt and pepper. Yes, clams are salty, but if the other ingredients aren't seasoned the clams will taste bland and not clammy. Half a bottle of dry white wine - I happened to have around some of West Point Military Academy's finest 2005 vintage from my Sister in law the alumnus. Bring to a simmer and let the alcohol cook off. Last week I used a splash of clam juice, which isn't highly regarded for it's flavor, but I wasn't sure if the clams would yield enough liquid to form a broth. They did so this week I'll leave it out. Add some parsley stems to flavor the broth as well. Add clams. Cover tightly. When they are wide open, portion into large bowls. Sprinkle chopped parsley (for flavor here not just eye appeal) and a squeeze of lime juice for freshness and to compliment the spicy chorizo. Sit back and wait for the moans of "yummy" to begin. I will do my best to capture a photo to follow up with you, but that means delaying my dinner which could be problematic.

1 comment:

David McDuff said...

Sounds great, HC. I'll have to give it a whirl in the near future. Sounds like the perfect pairing with a good rosé from Spain or Provence. Or maybe some IPA.