Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

Last Days of Summer

September 10, 2010

Although I didn’t get to experience clam digging this year, I picked some up from the fish market. After tasting them at the shore, I couldn’t resist buying a dozen. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring home any produce after loading my bag with seafood. However, I remembered a small packet of bacon in the freezer and was able to create a wonderful steamed clam concotion.

Steamed Clams with Bacon

Steamed clams with bacon and onions served over pasta.

Steamed Clams

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen little neck clams
  • 2 pieces bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ onion
  • 1 c white wine
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 white peppercorns
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour

Special Equipment

steaming rack, to keep clams above the liquid when cooking

  1. Sautee chopped bacon in a pot until the fat is rendered (melted).
  2. Add sliced onions and sautee until soft.
  3. Add crushed garlic cloves and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add wine to loosen what has stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add stock, sage, thyme, and peppercorns and bring to a boil.
  6. Drop the heat to a simmer, add a steaming rack, and place the clams on the steaming rack.
  7. Steam for about 5 mintues, until the clams are open.
  8. Remove clams when done.
  9. Melt butter and stir in flour until blended.
  10. Add butter and flour mixture to liquid in the pot and stir to combine.
  11. Let the liquid simmer for a few minutes to thicken up.
  12. Serve the clams over pasta covered with the sauce and a side of bread to soak up the liquid.

Variations
This is the first time I have attempted to steam clams. Why? I’m not sure. Clams are delicious. This recipe is very easy. I suppose clams aren’t depicted as glamorous, like oysters, or precious, like crab. These omissions are great reasons to steam some clams before they hibernate for the winter. As for variations in this recipe? Pancetta or chorizo would be a great subsitute for bacon. This is such a standard combination of flavors in so many cultures that I think it is a bad idea to mess with a good thing, for once. However, if you discover another great combination of flavors, please share!

Mouthful of Goodness

November 1, 2009

Thanks to a late-season gift of a few figs from a friend’s backyard, I was able to indulge in one of my favorite bite-sized appetizers. Taken from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook, this is a gourmet treat made in a few minutes with only a few ingredients.

I did not specify the amount of ingredients because I do not have the original recipe in front of me, and because it is flexible. The amount of cheese and number of slices of prosciutto depend on the number of figs you have. The amount of balsamic vinegar you drizzle on each fig is up to your personal tastes.

my variation on prosciutto wrapped figs

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

taken from the Williams-Sonoma book New Flavors for Appetizers

Ingredients

figs
prosciutto
gorgonzola cheese
balsamic vinegar

Special Equipment

grill or broiler

  1. Cut an X in the top of the figs, about 2/3rds of the way through the fig.
  2. Place about a teaspoon of cheese in the X.
  3. Grill or broil the figs for about three minutes until the cheese is slightly melted and browned on top.
  4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top and wrap with a piece of prosciutto.

Variation
Of course, I did not have prosciutto or gorgonzola cheese and opted not to use regular balsamic vinegar. I had a mystery cheese in the freezer which might have been a soft gouda. I had bacon. And I love using cream of balsamic vinegar instead of regular balsamic vinegar because it’s sweeter.

The cheese was fine, the bacon was ok, and I would use regular balsamic vinegar instead of the cream. Not sure if adding the vinegar before cooking is better. I’ll find out next time!