Friday, July 27, 2012

Clams with Fresh Corn and Heirloom Tomatoes and Happy Endings

Okay, this. This was one of those amazing kick ass plates of food that you make, and then instantly think about who else you can make them for because you feel like showing off.
I've been knocking around the idea of tomatoes, corn and white wine for a while, and I know this isn't a new idea because I've seen other people make variations on the theme. I put this together for a lunch with Myles.

I think I've mentioned Myles before. He's my best friend here in the desert and he's just landed a touring job with the circus. He was on my show, but now he's off to travel the world. He starts in Tel Aviv at the end of next week and he'll be going to Italy and Greece and Germany and pretty much everywhere. He's excited and I'm excited for him. This is his happy ending.

So he was supposed to come over and drop off some stuff. He doesn't need his pantry anymore, so I inherited it. I now have a huge amount of grains that I have no idea what they are because they are unlabeled (one of them is blue). I also have a plethora of alcohol, including two huge full bottles of Blueberry Vodka. I have no idea what I'm going to do with most of it, but it's going to be fun playing around.

I used this exchange of goods as an excuse to make this nice plate of food. It took five stores to find fresh clams, and I was looking for mussels, but it was worth it. Fresh seafood in the desert is not exactly easy to come by.

It's a really amazing lunch, very balanced, quite delicious, and super quick. The broth is absolutely divine and the sweetness from the corn is a great pairing with the acidity of the wine and the tomatoes.

Bon voyage and bon spectacle, Myles. This one's for you.

Clams with Fresh Corn and Heirloom Tomatoes

Pick good quality corn and tomatoes for this dish. They really are the glue that holds the dish together and should be yummy and fresh and delicious. I found little heirloom tomatoes at Trader Joes, so if you have one in your area it's a good place to start. As for wine, I used a very very cheap Pinot Grigio. Go for a wine that isn't too dry.

12 Fresh Littleneck Clams or 18 Fresh Mussels
1 Ear Fresh Corn
1 Cup Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
1 Cup White Wine
1 Shallot, minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, minced
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Loaf Crusty Bread

Soak your clams or mussels in a big bowl or sink of fresh water for thirty minutes. This will get a bunch of the dirt out, though they shouldn't be too dirty.

In a very large wide pan that you either have a lid for, or can invert another pan over, melt a tablespoon of the butter. Add the garlic and shallots and saute over a medium heat until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the corn off the ear and add that with the tomatoes, chives, clams or mussels, and the wine. Add a few grinds of pepper and stir around. Bring up to medium heat and cover. When covering, you want to make sure that the clams will have room to open, so you don't want the lid to be tight over them. I used another pan that I placed upside down. It didn't form a perfect seal, but it was enough.

Simmer over a medium heat until all of the clams or mussels have opened. Probably about another ten to fifteen minutes. Pour everything out onto a curved plate or in a shallow bowl so that the clams are swimming in the broth.

Eat with a loaf of fresh bread, tearing it off in chunks to soak up the broth with your best friend while you talk about the awesome adventures they are about to embark on.

Serves 2. 

One Year Ago: Whole Wheat Couscous with Goat Cheese and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

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