A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Monday, May 5, 2008

On Clams

Clams are so fun to cook with. This wasn't the most successful dish I've ever invented, but I love the magic of clams: you add to your sauce a bunch of rocklike chunks sealed up tight and cold, turn the heat up, cover the pan and hold down the lid, and a few minutes later you open it to find gaping, iridescent shells full of moist clam meat completely filling the pan. It has all the drama of a souffle.

I thought this would be like a Portuguese version of linguini with clam sauce. And it might have worked had the chard been milder, but it was really strong locally grown chard. The bacon was local, too -- from Caw Caw Creek, wonderfully brick red when cooked even though it looked fatty when raw. The clams were delicious, nothing at all like the chewy bits in a can of clams, but were somewhat overpowered by the chard. I used garlic, too, and dried red chile and salt and black pepper and vermouth, and it was completely edible but not amazing.

Next time I find fresh clams I will try a more classic recipe.

On a related note, it will be interesting to see how cooking and eating change now that I'll be working from home more of the time. On the one hand, I won't be compelled to eat just because it's lunchtime, and I won't be eating sandwichy things from delis. And we don't really buy prepared food for home; except for cheese and fruit, just about everything here requires some cooking or preparation.

On the other hand, when I was writing about bacon just a moment ago, I realized that I definitely wanted bacon for breakfast/lunch (usually one and the same for me), and here I am at home with a stove and a fridge full of bacon, and so very soon I will be sitting down to a lunch of bacon, toast, and yogurt with strawberries.

1 comment:

Kris said...

Welcome to the world of working at home. You can now really indulge in the Cold Leftover habit--it's great. Cold oven fries, cold lima beans, thinly sliced cold meats. Delicious.

I agree clams are a lot of fun. I only get to be around really fresh ones when we visit Cape Cod. I wish I had a bowl of steamers right now.