I’ve been on a clam kick lately. Over the course of a one-week period at the end of March and beginning of April, I had awesome clams three nights. Oh my. How come no one ever told me they were this good?
I’m going to ask for the recipe at Gino’s next time I go back — those are my favorite of the three I tried — but meanwhile I got Jeremy to try to remember his recipe (which was ad hoc to begin with). He basically made up the recipe as he went along, and then he and I tried to reconstruct it over the phone two weeks later. There are bound to be errors, but it’s a good basis from which to work.
In a large pot, brown 6-8 oz. of hearty, spicy sausage (he used soppresatta) in a couple tablespoons of fat (he prefers olive oil, but thinks butter would work). Add 3 shallots (or, he said, 1-1/2 cups onions) until they begin to caramelize, then add 5-6 cloves of garlic. Don’t let the garlic burn. When things are browned nicely, add about 1-1/2 cups white wine. Boil to reduce by half. At 1/2 cup of clam juice, 4 cups fish stock, a can of tomatoes, and some a pinch of hot pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Add 2-1/2 pounds of clams and cook until they open. Distribute clams evenly to serving bowls. Reduce liquid. Add some fresh ground pepper and 2-3 tablespoons butter. Ladle sauce over clams. Serve with garlic crostini.
I did some googling to try to find a a recipe similar to the one at Gino’s. Their dish is more “soupy” than Jeremy’s sauce. It’s a garlic/saffron thing with clams and mussels, served in a dish of broth. (It comes with bread, too.) It’s heavenly.
All I came up with was clams in garlic and wine, which is actually closer to Jeremy’s concoction.
I’m angling for more clam opportunities in the next few weeks. We’ll be dining out with a web acquaintance, with a group of Portland bloggers, with the MNF group, and then probably with Andrew and Courtney. I’ll be hoping for clams every time.