More cooking with wine! Last night’s dinner was inspired by the many, many bowls of mussels I have eaten at restaurants like Les Zygomates. Unfortunately when I got to my not-so-great neighborhood Shaw’s, they were out of mussels, almost out of clams, and out of sea scallops, so I decided to be flexible and to make the same recipe with littleneck clams and sweet bay scallops. I got a pound of each which ended up being more than enough for two, served with a whole wheat baguette and some leftover Brussels sprouts.
When I got home, I started out by rinsing and soaking the clams. There is nothing grosser than getting sand in your teeth! I changed the water about 10 times, and then ran each clam under running water for a few seconds before cooking. They were perfect.
The sauce for the seafood was fairly simple:
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced and also rinsed very well as fennel grows in sandy soil
1 shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons butter
2 heaping tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2 cups Travessia Chardonnay
a splash of heavy cream, at the very end
I very simply tossed the fennel, shallot, garlic, and butter together in a heavy-bottomed pot and got them up to a sizzle before pouring in the wine and mustard. I stirred gently, added the scallops and the clams, put a lid on the pot, and let it bubble. This is a dish you have to watch; the scallops can overcook very quickly, but you want the clams to be fully opened. I actually ended up using a slotted spoon to scoop the scallops out first, then left the clams a few more minutes until they were fully open. Do not eat a clam that doesn’t fully open!
We soaked up the delicious sauce with slices of broiled whole wheat baguette. My husband said that it was better than any seafood dish he has eaten in a restaurant, and because of its simplicity and delicious, subtle flavors, I might have to agree with him.
We ate while watching the rescue of the Chilean miners. What a miracle! I couldn’t believe how they were all in good condition.
I am delighted that it is Thursday. I’d like to give a big 30th birthday shoutout to my friend and college roomate Meghan, who I will celebrate with at Barbara Lynch’s Drink tonight. Happy Birthday MVO!!! I love birthday season!
When is your birthday?
Also, Boston friends, Vino Divino is hosting its Grand Opening party this Saturday in Brookline. There will be bubbly, food, and wine tasting in their tasting salon. If you are in the Washington Square area, stop by!