Thursday, 5 January 2012

Q is for... Quahog in Quinta

Quahogs are hard shelled clams often used in clam chowder or eaten raw with a little grated horseradish. On Q night, I decided to steam them in Quinta, a dry, white Portuguese wine. I was particularly keen to feature these little lovelies for Q after the mussels on M night managed to completely revolutionise Richard's attitude to shellfish. After his initial trepidation, Richard tucked into the Moules Mariniรจre with unparalleled gusto and since his seafood epiphany, he's been seen scoffing the stuff at every opportunity since.  If the empty shells (chucked into cocktail-drained Martini glasses. Classy.) were anything to go by, the quahogs hit the seafood spot nicely.

Quahogs in Quinta 

(serves 2)

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
2 rashers of bacon
4 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
A bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 large glass of Quinta (or any other dry white wine)
Knob of butter
A little shake of dried red chillies (as much or as little as you like)
750g quahog clams, washed and de-bearded - throw any open clams with open shells away.

Sweat the onion, garlic, celery and bacon in butter until everything is soft. Crank up the heat so the bacon and vegetables turn golden brown. Throw in the wine, tomatoes, parsley, chilli flakes and tumble in the clams. Season and pop the lid on and leave to simmer for a few minutes or until the quahog shells open. Serve in warm bowls with a little French bread to mop up the delicious juices.

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