"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
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--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Clams Perce

Making any kind of dish with fresh clams or oysters is a mixed blessing. You can't beat the taste, and canned clams just aren't the same, I'm sorry. Even the pre-shucked bivalves you can get at the fish counter usually have preservatives added. Nope, for the best you really need fresh.

BUT. Shucking clams and oysters is more easily said than done, and although I've had practice with both over the years, the idea of it still intimidates me. For one thing, it's incredibly messy, and for another, if you don't have the proper equipment it's dangerous, with a trip to the emergency room looming should your knife slip the wrong way. To make it more confusing, you don't shuck clams and oysters the same way--you pop an oyster at the hinge, and you do the opposite with clams, running your knife between the shells everywhere BUT the hinge, to loosen the muscle.

So it was with great interest and appreciation that I read the instructions for Clams Perce (pronounced "Percy")--you steam those bad boys until they open--no knives involved anywhere. I had even more appreciation for this recipe, the creation of Manhattan bar owner Perce Goodale, once I read it fully--clearly created by and intended for a busy commercial kitchen with no time to waste. So should you have no time to waste yourself this holiday season, but are looking for an app that will wow your guests, try this one on for size.

Once you get your clams out and have rinsed off the shells, lay them on a baking sheet. The recipe asks you to stablize them with kosher salt--I didn't bother with that. Put a clam in each shell, then sprinkle on top: dry stuffing mix, parmasan cheese, a strip of raw bacon, and a drop of Worcesterhire sauce. Broil for 2-3 minutes.

That's it! They're great little bites. Yum!

1 comment:

Georgia said...

Cannot go wrong with bacon. It's like cheese or chocolate in a recipe. Would the recipe work with oysters or mussels?