Saturday, March 06, 2010

Portuguese Clams (Page 328)

RECIPE #1115

  • Date: Friday, February 19, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I chose this recipe as part of the All Seafood All The Time plan. I started by roasting red peppers in the broiler, then letting them sit in a covered bowl for 20 minutes before peeling and slicing them. In a deep skillet I arranged some hard-shelled clams. I added sliced red onions, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Then I layered more red onion slices, sliced tomatoes, and the roasted red pepper slices. I put more minced garlic and some parsley springs on top of those layers. Then I poured white wine over it, and put slices of boiling potato on top. I poured tomato sauce over the potatoes then topped with sliced chorizo. I seasoned with salt and pepper, then covered the skillet and cooked until the potatoes were tender. The Book said, "Cook until potatoes are just tender and clams are open, about 12 minutes." That made me laugh. For one thing, the clams were on the very bottom of many, many layers of ingredients. There was no way to look in there and tell if they were open or not! And two, 12 minutes to cook potatoes? Hahaha. It took more like 20, and actually I wish I had cooked it even a little longer.

Just when I was really starting to get frustrated with the All Seafood All The Time plan, I made three very tasty seafood dishes in a row (this one and the two posts below it). It was just what I needed to recover a little bit of enthusiasm for the seafood. Even my special gentleman was starting to get tired of the All Seafood All The Time plan by the time I made this dish, but this meal completely turned his attitude around. This dish was very tasty. The potatoes and chorizo gave the stew a wonderful heartiness. I used some pricey chorizo and I was glad I did -- having great chorizo really enhanced the dish. The tomato broth picked up a nice spiciness from the chorizo, some roasted flavor from the peppers, and a slight briny flavor from the clams. For a broth/sauce that only cooked very briefly it had nice depth of flavor. This was a great dish for a winter evening. My only complaint was that the cooking time was way off. I cooked it at least 50 percent longer than indicated and my potatoes were still a little crunchy. But cooked a bit longer it would have been great!

This recipe isn't online.

Today was a rotten day, improved only by a long drive in the sunshine and the discovery that there was homemade macaroni and cheese in my freezer. I was in such a bad mood that at some point I decided to indulge myself in anything that would possibly make me feel better -- I even did some cooking that was NOT from The Book! My mood never did improve, but I managed to trudge through the day. The one upside of having a genuinely bad day was that it made me realize how infrequently I have them. Here's hoping tomorrow is better...

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