Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Clams Perce (Page 51)

RECIPE #1142

  • Date: Monday, April 12, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B-

I chose this recipe as part of the All Seafood All The Time plan. I started by steaming the clams in water, then detaching them from their shells. My special gentleman cleaned the bottom shells and returned the clams to the shells. He then topped the clams with packaged dry poultry stuffing and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. He then laid a small piece of bacon on top and a drop of Worcestershire sauce. We then broiled the clams until the bacon was cooked. This recipe wasn't bad, but it was a tad odd. Clams topped with dry stuffing and bacon? Huh. The stuffing was dry, and a little bit burnt. The bacon was tasty but not cooked as much as I would have liked (i.e. not crispy). Cooking the bacon more meant burning the stuffing more, so it was a trade-off. We tried to find a reasonable balance. The end result was tastier than it seemed like it would be, but it was still odd. The recipe would have been better if the stuffing had been moistened a bit with something and the bacon had been cooked a little before it was put on top so that the broiler could have just finished/crisped it. As it was, these were only ok.

The recipe is here.

Ugh. Today was one of those days. It started on a bad note when I was woken up an hour pre-alarm by my ringing phone. The call: the credit card company telling me that our card had been compromised. This is the second of our cards that has been compromised this semester and we know at least another two dozen friends in Berkeley who have had their cards compromised too. Anyway, the credit card lady understandably thought that we would be in the eastern time zone, since our address is, so she was extremely apologetic when she realized that in the pacific time zone, where we were, it was quite early.

So then I was awake. My work went fine today. After work my one goal was to locate shad roe. I started by going to the local fish market (the one that was mysteriously closed yesterday). They didn't have shad roe and they informed me that the season for shad roe in California had passed. I almost cried. I do not want to drag this project out for another year because of the stupid shad roe. So I went home and hit the phones. I first called dozens of fish markets within a two hour radius of Berkeley. No one had shad roe. One guy told me, mysteriously enough, that the shad roe season in California wouldn't start for another few weeks. Other people told me it had passed. It was very confusing. Eventually I started searching the internet for some place that a) Had shad roe and b) Would ship it to me. I called many more places. The irony of it all was when I eventually did find a place that had shad roe... and that place was in.... Michigan! Seriously. So if we were home right now I would have no problem with this obscure seafood item. But here, in California, on the sea, no such luck. It didn't look like the Michigan store would ship (at that point it was too late in the eastern time zone to call and inquire -- the second time today the time change messed with me!), so I continued my search. I found someplace in Massachusetts that has it and maybe will ship it to me. I need to call tomorrow.

When I reached the peak of my frustration, Mike offered to help me. He found a place in Virginia that claims to ship shad roe. And if worst comes to worst he offered to get it in Massachusetts (where he lives) and freeze it for me. Then I can go there in the summer and cook it. Shad roe is never supposed to be frozen, but at this point, I am desperate! So at least I have a tentative, although not ideal, plan. Tomorrow morning I will get up and make some east coast phone calls to see if anyone can overnight me some shad roe. And if I can't get it shipped tomorrow I will have Mike get it for me. The season will end any day now, and I am really not wanting to wait until March 2011 to find my shad roe!


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