Baby Clams

This is something new… A Guest submission from my friend Sydney Silvi…a most delicious looking lunch she made her husband the other day.

“…That thrown together clam sauce  was some olive oil in a pan( no measurements on anything some finely chopped onion with a tiny bit of garlic  some dried hot chili peppers ( the mexican or Italian ones and being careful not to burn them. I left them in big pieces…… all sauteed a  minute or so…then added some dry white wine.. a nice splash…then i put in the clams to stean open..and lastly i added some chopped parsley..this very quick sauce is ready in less then 10 minutes…the clams open and give out more liquid and its ready !… the clams are important..don’t use Maine clams…. use a nice littleneck or whatever….of course it can be done with jar baby whole clams and even can chopped clams..but the fresh in shell clams are alway better…pretty classic….and FOR SURE…NO CHEESE on this sauce  when serving..a HUGE NO NO !…

Carla you can do the same with shrimp ( using peeled raw..vein removed )and variation of adding a few fresh chopped tomatoes …No basil…but maybe a pinch of oregano….
….
 the nice thing about many of the  Italian sauces is the quickness …. of course the longer cooking sauces a wonderful too..but we hardly make them.”

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More Southern Food

While we’re in the mode….I made pork ribs last night.  This is a new way of cooking them for me and I’ll explain why but again, how did I get this old and not know this trick?  I was in Market Basket, last summer, checking out the ribs when this woman juggled past me to grab some.  She said she was in a hurry and wanted ribs that night.  I thought you had to slow cook, marinate, etc. and expressed such…she said, hell no, put them in the crock pot on high then throw on the grill for 5 minutes.  I did, she was right.  The best ever.  So, the deal is:  I cut them in racks about 6 ribs per rack, stack them in the crock pot as much as I can.  I put a little water or chicken stock (preferable) in the bottom as they are going to steam.  Put the pot on high for 4-5 hours or longer doesn’t matter.  Then put them in a large bowl, toss in a jar of sauce, put them on the grill for perhaps 5 minutes.  All your doing is browning them up.  Couldn’t get any simpler and great every time.  You can squeeze quite a bit in the pot.  I usually do two racks at once.  The meat falls off the bone and depending on your sauce…..incredible.  Last night we didn’t want to deal with the grill so I broiled them – same thing, didn’t need to fire up the grill.  Beans and rice completed the meal….the red cabbage I had heated up would have been nice but in my haste I forgot to serve it.  We didn’t miss a vegetable as we were in Summer Heaven last night pretending we had just had some fresh greens and tomatoes off the vine.

Yummy 2x

o.k. piggy week-end…I finally made the Shrimp & Grits as an experiment for a customer – we devoured it and had to share with them.  As I may have said we thought of not telling them we made it but that would defeat the purpose.  I haven’t heard from them yet as to their thoughts.  But, we loved it so much I made it again last night.  Our friend Laura had expressed interest in it but couldn’t come on Friday night and then could come over last night and since we were STILL talking about it…what the heck?

Again, it was delicious.  This time I didn’t have the lovely white grits that were provided by the customer so I dug out some rough cut cornmeal.  At first I was nervous about it setting up properly but when all was said and done – it came out the same, just a golden color instead.  The recipe was printed in the Charleston City Paper.  It was printed in 07 and I just hope they don’t mind.  The only thing different that I did was use Chinese Hot Sauce instead of Tabasco and to be “true” to the south the Tabasco would be a must.  The recipe is from The Hominy Grill.  We were down there prior to 07, by a few years, and ate there.  Paul had the Shrimp & Grits.  It was a quiet, out of the way, cute place.  We were in Charleston last year and tried to eat there again but they were swamped.  They have been “found”. 

Cheese Grits:

4.5 C. boiling water

1 C. stone-ground grits

1 tsp. salt

¾ C. cheddar shredded

¼ C. Parmesan

black pepper

Tabasco

3 Tbs. Butter

Whisk the grits & salt into boiling water.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, whisking occasionally 35-40 minutes.  When done, stir in cheese & butter, season with pepper and more Tabasco if you like it hot (you will be putting more in the shrimp part).

Shrimp Part:

1 lbs. peeled shrimp

flour

3 slices cooked, chopped bacon

1 squeeze of garlic puree or a few cloves of the real deal

¼ C. chopped scallions

1 C. sliced mushrooms

2 tsp. lemon juice

Tabasco

Oil for sauteing – I’ve used a combo of butter & olive oil but they say peanut oil.

Toss the shrimp in flour; saute for a few short minutes (like 2), add the mushrooms and toss, toss, after a minute add the bacon, garlic and Tabasco then the lemon juice.  Season with salt & add the onions last.  Take it off the heat, pronto, and top over the grits in a shallow soup tureen.

It actually is a very quick dinner.  While the grits are cooking; prep your other things then about 10 minutes before the grits are done, start the shrimp part.

I thought I’d load up this other shot also as I’m not sure which one I like better and since we ate it twice, why not?

We had leftover grits this morning with beans, leftover bacon, a feta (remember the homemade feta a few weeks back?) and egg omelette.  Yumola.

As an appetizer last night we had a salad of Hydroponic arugula, feta, olive oil and that German thin sliced meat I mentioned from Karl’s. I had some homemade Boursin from a party I did this week and bread ends from another gig.

I did walk 3 miles today but perhaps it wasn’t enough.  I just love colorful food.

Yesterday

Darn, all set to post some amazing southern food but my Verizon Android won’t send the pictures through and since we already ATE the food I can’t take a picture!  Humm.  The phone is not letting me call either – it’s tweaky so I suppose I’ll be driving into Portsmouth to find out what’s up with it.  Not what I had planned today.  Perhaps later I’ll be able to post it. 

Shrimp and Grits on the way!

In the meantime these pictures are what we contended with yesterday morning….will it never end?  I am ready to hang my wash out and dig around in the garden.  My garlic shoots are up about 2".  The rhubarb are beautiful red nubs all over the place.  Our Japanese Dogwood is jumping.  Even Luna has had it – she was lying on top of the picnic table (which had an inch of snow on it) rather than on the ground with the same snow. 

Enjoy your day – I’ll get those shrimp & grits up later and a beautiful salad.

Big Day Out

Janet & I started the day with a food/health lecture up in Ogunquit.  That was nice; it just reminds me to eat healthy and keep the body moving.  I do both but do need to be reminded frequently.  So, I came out of there feeling virtuous…end of day, not so.

Paul & I zipped down to Boston to see a Weaving exhibit on Newbury Street at The Society of Arts & Crafts.  We parked pretty much next door to the tune of $8. a half hour, ouch.  We decided we would zip through the show in one hour so as to only spend $16. on parking.  The show was so disappointing.  They had a loom in pieces, a Macomber loom no less (they are just down the street from my house) in a frame and called it Art.  Hummm..  I saw a nightmare, personally.  Having just gotten a new loom a year ago which came in a box in pieces.  Mark Zimmer, a friend who put it together for me as I was totally overwhelmed with the puzzle will tell you; it’s not fun or easy and definitely not art in a box.  There was one piece which was interesting, in a way.  It was woven black yarn, probably linen with a copper wire weft hooked up to a speaker.  When you touched the copper it made a sound…it was not so interesting that we asked any questions so we’re thinking it had something to do with your body heat conducting.  There is a show in Boston starting tomorrow CraftBoston Spring with 200 people showing their work at the Seaport World Trade Center.  I would go to that but the visual gets me totally overwhelmed at those big shows…there are just too many crazy things going on.  I had the same experience at the Fancy Food Show in San Fransisco I went to in January – I’m good for about one hour and then done.

I did meet a cool guy in Starbucks while I was looking for a public bathroom.  This guy was very young – mid 20’s with handmade large plaid wool pants and a checked shirt; very expensive leather bag, coat, cool large frame black glasses.  He was tall, 6’5" type tall.  I remarked how I loved his plaids, stripes, checks, etc.  So, he told me about how his mother was a seamstress in New York in the late 60’s (I was there then also) she saved all the fabric she could from that era and gave it to him.  He made his clothes – I’m thinking he was in the biz.  We talked 60’s, he was so envious.  I don’t blame him – I had so much fun then.  Imagine living in New York City in 1968, being all of 100 lbs. if that; awesome cheap clothes – I had these “dress in a box” outfits – they cost $5.00 a Tube dress, lots of them.  That and a pair of tights & wooden clogs (of course painted (by me) stars & stripes, silver heels, very Abby Hoffman, was all you needed.  A beaded Siberian coat for winter was a must – the darn thing weighed more than me.  So anyhow, we, this man and I spoke clothes for a bit.  I told him about a pink outfit I made in 66’ Cher was my hero; I was learning to sew in school, we had to make an outfit.  I made a pink cotton – I forget the type but it was a bit heavier than the cotton now – the outfit of my design was a tiny, tiny top fitted just under my non existent boobs with darts no less and those white balls that hung on curtains back then.  The pants were really special: same pink but tight as a drum, incredibly low on my hips (again big time darts) long, with sideways bell bottoms (remember my hero Cher) and the balls at the bottom.  I was so thin I had to be careful as my hips stuck out farther than my stomach.  I was cool beyond belief.  Wish I had a picture….I should dig though my moms stuff and see if any of my couture outfits show up.  You’d laugh. 

I was telling my friend my dad was very tall, like him and Dad used to wear really weird stuff – plaids, stripes and socks that had rockets on the ankles (all at one time).  He was so weird, he was cool.  My fathers last job was with NASA in Florida – those rocket socks were important.  I was so pleased to see that when my dad passed away; my mother had picked appropriate clothes for him.  My last view of him he had on a really weird plaid shirt and a bolero.  I’m thinking he had those socks on but I didn’t check.  It made me smile and it still makes me smile. Dad had his own style.  I come by my craziness naturally!

On the way home from Boston we stopped at Karl’s Sausage Kitchen on Route One.  Can’t drive by without spending a few bucks in that place.  We’re having Bunderfleisch and Arugula Salad tonight and Weisswurst and German potato salad.  So…..gotta go.