Archive for the 'clams' Category

19
Sep
10

roasted shrimp and baked clams.

In 1991, I went through the obligatory phase in which I obsessed about all things “The Little Mermaid.” We’re talking multiple Ariel dolls, swimsuits, tent, bedspread, watch, etc. If collecting Ariel paraphernalia were an Olympic sport, I would have broken records in the second grade. I had the entire movie memorized and would proudly recite it daily in conjunction with the movie, which I watched anywhere from 5-10 times every day. And, yet, I can’t recall one fantasy of devouring Sebastian shumai or grilled Flounder tacos. Odd.

Enter 2010, and suddenly I’m this seafood obsessive who craves Ariel’s friends on the daily. Fo realz. I recently made a roasted shrimp with champagne-shallot sauce that was all kinds of amazeballs.

roasted shrimp with champagne shallot sauce

I found it courtesy of my old standby, Epicurious. Oh, Epi, you’re always there for me when creativity abandons me. You’re like my safety school.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup minced shallots
3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 3/4 lbs uncooked shrimp, deveined
3 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
2 1/4 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 cup butter, room temp
green beans
2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley

I brought some champy back from Israel, so it was a relief to find some use for it that didn’t involve wearing my high heeled slippers and eating gold. I’m getting sooo sick of my Tuesday night routine.

You start by simmering the champagne and shallots until they reduce to 1/2 cup, which takes 25 minutes. Combine oil, shrimp, 2 1/2 tsp thyme, and lemon peel in a bowl, and toss together with some salt and pepper. Meanwhile I boiled the green beans in some salted water for a few minutes, and those were good to go.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and arrange shrimp on baking sheets. Roast for about 6 minutes, or until opaque. Meanwhile, bring sauce to simmer, remove from heat, and whisk in butter along with 1 tsp thyme, and 1/2 tsp lemon peel. Add salt to taste, and voila. Make a bed of green beans, put shrimp on top, spoon sauce on top, and garnish with parsley. Delicioso.

littleneck clams

I’ve also been having a not-so-covert affair with bivalves, and so I decided to bake some recently.

Ingredients:

16 littleneck clams
1 bunch Italian parsley
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot, minced
a few drops of hot sauce

I had just returned from a weekend of gluttony in the central Fla., and I was craving something non-muffin top inducing, if at all possible. I researched and found solely sub-par baked clam recipes, and so I was left to my own devices. I started by steaming the clams in a tight fitting pot over moderately high heat for 5-7 minutes. They eventually bloomed, if you will, and looked as they do above. Check.

I mixed together breadcrumbs, about 2 tbsp Parmesan, garlic, shallot, salt, pepper and hot sauce in a large bowl. I then shucked the clams, and added those into the mix as well. I threw away half of each shell, and used the other half as a bed for my clam mix. I divided the mix among the shells, topped with more cheese, and put under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes. They were so tasty and easy to prepare, and I only had to pair with a small salad to be full. Loves it.

As far as the sweatiness goes, I’ve been logging hours with my good friend, Gym. I try to mix it up with the variety of machines, but it comes as no surprise that I’m nearing yet another rut. It’s quite a bit of time spent with Gym for minimal results, and I realize that it’s less about the time spent and more about how one tricks one’s body. It’s damn near impossible to do weird exercises in my cramped room or in a gym full of spectators, though. I’ve been going back and forth trying to decide whether to get a trainer or try crossfit, and I’m treating this week as my sampler. A revamping is straight ahead, and I, for one, am thrilled. Stay tuned, and see below for my clams:

stuffed and baked clams

15
May
10

linguine with clams, veggie sandwich.

I just reached a major culinary milestone. In a lady-balls-to-the-wall moment, I approached the seafood counter at Whole Foods with nothing but bivales on the brain. After probing the seafood man for his expertise (Clams or Cockles? Jersey clams or Maine clams? Boxers or briefs?), I walked away with two pounds of Littleneck clams and a totally unnecessary and premature sense of accomplishment.

I’ve had no experience with clams save for a few encounters with clam chowder, so I was pretty glued to the recipe I found on Epicurious. It was meant for cockles, but the Whole Foods man said he favored clams (they’re sweeter and less briny, apparently) and steered me in that direction. It called for:

linguine with clams

Ingredients:

12 oz linguine (I used whole wheat)

2 tbsp butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry white wine

2 tbsp tarragon

1/4 tsp saffron

2 pounds cockles ( I used clams)

It also requested I add whipping cream, which I excluded because I can. I love exerting my power over dairy. You start by cooking the linguine as the box instructs, and melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sautee for a couple of minutes, and then add the wine, half the tarragon and the saffron. Bring to boil, add the clams, and cover the skillet. They took about 8 minutes to cook, and suddenly all the clams pop open and, like, all but unhinge! It looked just like the Reach toothbrush cartoon, but an edible version. Side bar: what happened to Reach? Anyways, you toss the cooked linguine in with the sauce, season with salt and pepper, and then top with the clams. I added some crushed red pepper flakes for some spice, but the tarragon and saffron did a pretty good job of seasoning. I really enjoyed the whole clam experience.

In sweaty news, I’ve been going at this whole workout thing with a new perspective. Harder, faster, stronger, if you will. I used to be all “treadmill for 20 min a day? Done.” Now I’m all, “Treadmill for 20, Cybex for 30, Stair master for 15? Done,” or some variation of that. It’s swimsuit season much too soon, so it’s go time. I will never stop wishing there were pools in the city, though, because I loooove to swim. I also enjoy that whole “fetus in the womb” feeling of floating around and doing somersaults and whatever. Also, it’s sweatless exercise. Something to think about, NYC.

While looking through my repertoire of recent eats, I realized that my most photogenic recipe was another from Epicurious. Is there such a thing as a recipe app addiction? If so, I suffer from it.

I want

Ingredients:

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise

1 teaspoon finely chopped canned chipotle chile with sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

8 slices whole-grain bread

2⁄3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta

1 medium avocado, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tomato, cut into 8 slices

You start by boiling 1 cup water with vinegar in a small saucepan. Add onion; turn off heat; let sit 30 minutes; drain. I love red onions more than life itself, and this was a delicious way to prepare them. They’re almost pickled. Epi then wants you to puree beans and cumin in a blender. Mix mayonnaise, chipotle (I used a jalapeno) and lime juice in a bowl, and spread on 4 slices of bread, which I toasted. I’m normally not a mayo fan, but I figured it was alright to include as long as lime and jalapeno were involved. Top remaining slices with bean puree, onion, cheese (I used goat cheese due to the overwhelming absense of feta in Whole Foods that week), avocado, cilantro and tomato. I’ve made my fair share of well documented veggie paninis in the past, but this was by far the most hearty. It’s also arguably the prettiest, and I’m showing it here in all its openfaced glory. See below:

black bean and veggie sandwich with pickled red onions and jalapeno mayo




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