When I first imagined my life in Paris, the first thing that crossed my mind was how much fun I would have in the kitchen, when all the ingredients would readily be available on my finger tips. My childhood food would no longer feel like a dream. But after weeks trying to fill my kitchen with my usual stuff, it has proven much more difficult than I had originally thought.
So I learn to change my diet a little. I love everything Asian food but I learn it’s far easier to cook non-Asian cuisine. I come to enjoy my Sunday morning market. Some faces have become regular and at times, I get more than I paid for… You’re cooking clams today, Madame? French style, with wine? Then here’s some parsley for you. Just this rocket salad? I will give the mesclun salad as well, pour vous.
Anyway, here’s a baked clam recipe that is pretty awesome, but really, really easy to prepare. If you know moules marinière, you’ll be familiar with this. The difference is that I use clams, instead of mussels and instead of serving them in a cocotte, I bake them. This would make a wonderful first course meal or like we did, a full meal. I also want to emphasize that this is pretty fail proof, I’ll tell you why..
BAKED CLAMS ala MARINIERE (with Cream, Parsley & White Wine Sauce)
(adapted from Saveurs, May 2013)
serve 2, as main
1 kg fresh clams
100 ml white wine
half yellow onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
handful of parsley, chopped finely
a piece of dry bread, broken into pieces – I used the end of a fresh baguette (the hard part, no more than 2-cm long), chopped small – see note below
couple sprinkles of red pepper flakes, optional
1 tbsp butter
100 ml thick cream
handful of grated Emmental
- In a colander, clean the clams over running cold water. Shake them around. Drain and set aside.
- In a pot (with a tight lid), melt the butter over medium fire. Add the onions and sautee a minute before adding the clams and wine. Cover the pot and let it cook for 10 mins, or until all clams are open.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C.
- In a small bowl, mix the minced garlic, parsley and bread.
- Drain the clams but keep the stock on the pot. Let the stock cook further and reduce while you work on the clams.
- Throw away any unopened clams, if any. Otherwise, break the clams and throw the empty shell. Plate the clams on an oven proof tray.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and cream together. Temper with the clam stock before adding the egg cream mixture into the pot, season with black pepper. Let it cook on low fire for 3-4 mins. Turn off fire. See note below.
- Using a small (espresso) spoon, spoon the parsley mixture onto the clams. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for a little zing. Then spoon the reduced clam stock over each clam. Garnish with grated cheese.
- Bake for 5 mins and serve immediately! Must be eaten while still piping hot hot hot!
~ I like the bread to be not too small, so that it gives a crunchy texture after baking. I like using the skin too.
~ If by any chance your egg curdles, just cover the curd with cheese. Don’t worry.. after baking, it won’t even show.
Good luck and have a glass of white while working. Bon dimanche!