Monday, June 1, 2015

Clams & chorizo

These clams were a big hit the other night. They were fresh and tender and super sweet, pretty much the perfect appetizer for four people to share.

If you're like me, though, a dish like this is really about only one thing: dunking bread in the broth. So make certain to have plenty of the crusty stuff on hand should you decide to give this a go.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Saute a large onion, 6 garlic cloves, two celery stalks and some hot pepper in olive oil until softened. I used a very large black iron pan here, but any pan that's oven-safe will do.

Add around a quarter pound of diced chorizo. I used cooked Spanish chorizo here.

Add some fresh herbs (thyme and marjoram here), freshly ground black pepper and a quart of stock. I used some of the homemade shrimp stock I had in the freezer but any light stock will be fine. Turn the heat up to high.

Let the stock reduce by around half.

While the stock is reducing clean your clams thoroughly to get rid of any sand or grit. I used three dozen medium-sized clams here.

Add the clams to the pan and place into the oven uncovered. I used the outdoor wood oven this time, as it was fired up to cook several other things that evening.

As soon as all the clams have opened, which shouldn't take more than a few minutes, you're ready to go. Either set the hot pan out where people can scoop out their clams or go the safer route and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Either way the clams will wind up in a few individual bowls like this one. We were four people on this night and so we each got eight clams as an appetizer.

Oh yeah, there wasn't any bread leftover either.


Chuck said...

Looks delicious! What's your source for the chorizo?

Mister Meatball said...

Chorizo isn't that hard to find. I got mine at Micucci's Italian market in Portland.

Anonymous said...

I actually get a pretty good dose of chorizo by living part time in Spain, but when in US, living as I do in a non-major city with no Spanish or Italian food source, I've had good luck with ordering onlin from La Espanola, in So. Calif. Because of import restrictions on meats, they learned to do a very good version on a variety of regional Spanish chorizo variants in house. Don't know if they can import even now, but their own products taste to me like what I would get at the local charcuteria in Murcia. Since cured chorizo keeps (I gues that's the point of the curing) I only have to remember to order a stock to keep on hand in refrigerator for use at need. Also a good source for a lot of good regional Spanish cheeses, which I guess you can import. Apparently the dairy industry competitor-exclusion lobby isnt as influential as its counterpart in the meat-packing industry.

Anonymous said...

The combination of clams and chorizo is a great thing. I spent 2 weeks in Portugal a few years ago and never saw it on a menu, but our numerous Portugese restaurants in New Jersey all serve it. We are also lucky enough to have a big Portugese super market in Newark, where they have oodles of types of Chorizo. Of course no one leaves this store with a sack of Portugese rolls, which will sop the juice from you dish up nicely. I have never used the oven for clams. I usually just cover the pot when I put the clams in and as they open they release the clam liquor, which is worth its weight in gold. Thanks for reminding me, it's time to head to Newark and stock up on all things Portugese... Chorizo, rolls, olive oil, fresh fish, etc..

Mister Meatball said...

Of course you are speaking of Seabra's market. Which I know and love. Thanks for checking in JP.

Anonymous said...

Seabra's Market is correct. I know you have been to the nearby restaurant, Seabra's Marisquera (I know it's spelled wrong), which is a local favorite. I'm usually the only one in the joint not speaking Portuguese.

Chuck said...

Thanks for the help in finding chorizo in Portland. I made this last week with mussels instead of clams, and it was delish.

Mister Meatball said...

Glad to hear!