CLAMS: Drunken Clams with Sausage + Grilled Garlic Toast
- 4 dozen littleneck clams cleaned and scrubbed
- 2 sweet Italian sausages (about 10oz)m casing removed and meat separated into small pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1/2 of small fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional)
- 5 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 3/4 cups sweet white wine, such as Muscat
- 10 large fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, until soft, for about 3-4 min. Add the garlic, celery and fennel and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the sausage meat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the meat is nicely browned.
2. Add the wine (both dry and sweet) and bring to boil. Add the tarragon.
3. Add the clams, cover with a lid and cook, shaking the saucepan from time to time, until the clams are open, for about 6 minutes.
4. Add the heavy cream, gently shake the saucepan to mix, and simmer over low heat uncovered, for another 2-3 minutes.
5. Spoon the clams into bowls or soup plates. Stir the parsley into the broth, season with pepper and then pour over the clams. Serve with fresh bread.
Grilled Garlic Toast
6 slices good country bread (the kind that's not too dense, with lots of air holes)
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
1.Heat the grill to medium-high (or use a grill pan if you're cooking indoors). Brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil -- don't skimp, here! Sprinkle lightly with salt.
2.Grill the bread for a minute or two on each side, until it's crisp and brown (we like ours on the darker side). Rub one side of each toast with the cut edge of the garlic clove (lightly or vigorously, depending on your preference) and serve while still warm.
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