Tag Archives: Clams

Royal Flush Clams Casino

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Clams Casino originated in Rhode Island but there are many variations to this delightful appetizer. Some recipes call for Worcestershire sauce, butter and bacon. I substituted bacon for pancetta because of my infinite love affair with pancetta. They are mouthwatering appetizers and very festive. I suggest making them for a special occasion and serve them with a very chilled bubbly, like a Prosecco.  It sure would set the tone for a smashing dinner party. I wanted to use the Cherrystone clams but could not find them. Please keep in mind, if using Cherrystone clams, you will need to chop them up and place them back on the half shell. I used the little neck clams and the result was like hitting a Royal Flush hand in poker. They are more tender and less chewy but the larger clams make a lovely presentation and popping food photos. The choice is yours. This dish is very popular in the Italian-American community, but can be enjoyed by everyone from all corners of the world.  Put on your apron and follow me in the kitchen.

Serves: 6 – or 8-10 when served with other appetizers – Difficulty level: Intermediate

Ingredients:

  • 40 little neck clams (small) or about 20-25 cherrystone size
  • 2 tbps. extra virgin olive oil, + more for drizzle
  • 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 3 garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Seasoned breadcrumbs to lightly sprinkle
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or any parmesan cheese to lightly sprinkle
  • 1/2 lemon, plus more for garnish
  • Flat-leave Italian parsley for garnishPreparation:

    1)  Wash and scrub the clams. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large flat metal pan, bake the clams for about 3 minutes or until they open. Remove them. Drain some of the liquid. Let them cool off. Detach the shells one by one, leaving the clams on half shell.

    2) In the meanwhile, in a large skillet,  over medium-high heat, heat olive oil (be careful, lower heat if it’s too high). Brown the pancetta, for about 1-2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the bell peppers and shallots, 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, saute’ for 1 minute.  Deglaze with the wine for 2 minutes. Turn the burner off.

    3) Time to assemble. Sprinkle a little breadcrumbs on each clam. Next, place the pancetta mixture, then sprinkle cheese lightly.

    4) BROIL for about 3-4 minutes. Remove at once.

    5)  Place on a serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.

    6) Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.  Bam! Your guests will be dazzled by your culinary creation.

    Hope you’re happy as a clam after reading this delicious blogpost!

    Royal Flush Clams Casino
    Royal Flush Clams Casino

    Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover
    My exclusive photos and recipe creation.
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Linguine alle Vongole, Clams in a Wine Broth

Mise en place for Linguine with Clams in a Wine Broth
Mise en place for Linguine with Clams in a Wine Broth
Linguine with Clams in a Wine Broth
Linguine with Clams in a Wine Broth

Clams in a wine broth

It’s been a while since I have made pasta with clams. I have a few versions of them, but I like to change things up from time to time. It was 5:20 PM when I headed to the kitchen, and I challenged myself to have dinner ready on or before 6:00 PM. I felt like I was on a cooking show, but with less pressure of course. I began prepping all the ingredients, and needed everyone out of my way.  I blasted the air, and started cooking like a mad woman. You certainly don’t have to put that kind of pressure on yourselves. To add to the madness, I was shooting pictures, and decided to do a last-minute mini video.  Here is a list of the ingredients you will need, and my method of cooking.

Serves: 4   Level of difficulty Easy-Medium
Time: From start to finish 5:20 PM – 5:59 PM

Ingredients:

  • 2 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed well. *
  • 1/2 head of garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 dried Thai chiles, optional *
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine, Chardonnay
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 4 tbsp. butter, optional, for added richness
  •  Flat-leave parsley for garnish
  •  1 lb. of Linguine
  • Water for boiling pasta, + reserve 1/2 cup for later
  • Salt for the pasta waterPreparation:
    1) Prep all your ingredients.  Set aside. Bring pasta water to a boil.

    2) In the meanwhile, in a medium-sized pan (with a lid) heat up olive oil,  add the chiles, sauté for 1-2 minutes, and REMOVE.  Add the shallots, sauté for 2-3 minutes, add the garlic and tomato paste. Stir until it caramelizes.  Deglaze with the wine. Lower the heat, and reduce for 1-2 minutes.

3) Add the clams,  cover with a lid and simmer on low- heat for about 10 minutes or so, or until the clams open up.

4) You will be doing some juggling. By now, the water probably started to boil, add the salt, drop pasta in the water. Cook according to package directions. (I like it al dente, to the bite).

5) Clams should be done. (If you overcook them, they will get chewy. Either keep them on very low flame,  or remove them from the burner.

6) In the midst of cooking, you will find time to prep the garlic bread and broil it. Keep your eyes, on the stove and burners at all times.

7) Drain the pasta, and add it to the clams. ( Make sure you reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water) Use your judgment about how much broth you want.  Stir in the butter, and the reserved pasta water. Mix well. Put back on low flame if necessary to warm it up.

8) Serve at once, in a pasta bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with flat-leave parsley. Voila! Done!  My dinner was served at 5:59 PM. I rose to the challenge.

Linguine alle Vongole

I served it with some homemade crostini, (garlic bread), and my family had a feast. I hope you will try this hearty and delicious dish in your kitchen for your loved ones.

Gina’s Tips:

  1. Make sure clams are all closed when you buy them. Those that stay open are dead, and not suitable for consumption.   Beware of certain allergies with shellfish.
  2. Warning: The chiles are optional, because they are very spicy. However,  if you want to add some kick to the dish, use them as per my instructions.

Wine suggestion: A nice chilled Chardonnay, or any white wine of your choice.

Bon Appetit from My Kitchen to Yours!

 

 

Middle Eastern Couscous with Clams & Scallops

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Mise en Place

 

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Clams and scallops

 

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Simmering

 

Middle Eastern Couscous With Clams & Scallops. This is an adaptation of Doreen Colondres’s culinary creation from La Cocina No Muerde, which translates, The Kitchen Doesn’t Bite. Doreen is a celebrity chef, of Puerto Rican descent, and is very proud of her heritage.  She has appeared in many television shows across the globe. Doreen is often featured on the widely popular morning show, Despierta America, which can be seen on the Latin channel, Univision.  I had the pleasure of meeting her in a wine class, and have kept in touch ever since.  Despite her busy schedule, she found the time to make me and our circle of friends, this delicious dish. She inspired me to recreate it in My Kitchen.

Servings: 6-8  Difficulty:  Easy – Medium

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Middle Eastern Couscous, can be found at your local grocery, or specialty stores.
  •  3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  •  4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1.5 tsp. paprika
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 18 cherrystone clams *
  • 1/2 lb. bay scallops
  • Parsley for garnish

Preparation:

1) In a large skillet, on medium-high heat, heat up the olive oil. Sautee’ the onions for couple minutes, then the garlic for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes. (If you have time, you can roast the tomatoes in the oven with olive oil to obtain a nice caramelization, prior to using them in this dish).

2) Deglaze with the wine, 1-2 minutes. Drop in the couscous, stir and cook for 2 minutes, add paprika, salt & pepper. Pour chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.

3) Add clams and scallops. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. It should come out moist, just like you see it in the featured picture. Plate it and sprinkle the parsley on top. This is an amazing dish that is sure to please all seafood lovers.

* I prefer using the little neck clams, as they are tastier, but my grocery store didn’t carry them that day. Use two dozen of them, since they are smaller.

The variety of white wines you can use to pair with this dish is endless. I recommend a Vinho Verde or a nice white Rioja. The choice is yours, just make sure the wine is nicely chilled.

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Voila!

Bon Appetit from Gina’s Kitchen!
Recipe inspired by: Doreen Colondres
Recreated by: FoodieWineLover
Pictures taken by : FoodieWineLover

FoodiewineloverDec2014 052 white Rioja
My wine suggestion. We had it at a Spanish wine tasting, and it was amazingly elegant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrumptious Seafood Pasta Dish

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A few years ago, hubby and I took a trip of a lifetime to California. We got to visit many wonderful cities as well as wine country. We were mesmerized by the beautiful sceneries, enjoyed some delicious food, and sipped on luscious wines. Today, I want to share with you this pasta dish, that we savored at Brophy Bros Clam Bar in beautiful Santa Barbara. This restaurant overlooks the lovely pier and the breathtaking mountain views.  This dish was so inspiring, that I decided to recreate it, and the result was smashing.
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Serves: 4-6
Degree of difficulty: Easy – Medium

Ingredients:  

  • 1 lb.  medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail left on
  • 18 little neck or medium-sized clams
  • 1/2 lb. of sea scallops
  • 1/2 jug of clam juice – About 5-6 ounces
  • 1/2 cup of Chardonnay wine
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 2-3 Tbsp. butter
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, (Parmesan cheese)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • Few leaves of basil, chopped in a chiffonade style
  • 1 lb. Linguine

Preparation:

1) In a 6 quart pan, on med-high heat, drizzle the olive oil on the bottom,  sautee the garlic, as soon as it releases its aroma, drop all the seafood in there and deglaze with the wine. This should take a couple of minutes.

2)   Add the tomatoes, clam juice and season with salt, pepper, oregano. Slowly add the heavy cream and stir.  Lower the heat and bring to a quick simmer. This does not take long as you do NOT want to overcook the seafood. They will become chewy.

3) Simultaneously,  bring water to a boil for the pasta and cook according to package directions. I like to cook it al dente, (to the bite).  Once pasta is cooked, drain it, and reserve 1/4 cup of the water. Drop pasta and water to the seafood sauce.  Swirl in the butter for some added richness, and give it a good stir. This is all done with very low heat, at this point. Garnish with the basil at the end so they don’t wilt.  Now, it’s time to plate. Sprinkle with cheese and voilà, the result is a lip smacking delicious pasta dish.

I hope you will try this delectable recipe that will have your loved ones begging for seconds. Stay tuned for more delicous dishes. Until then, have a fantastic day!

Wine pairing suggestions: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc. For a special occasion, pair this dish with a nice Viognier, and you will wow your guests.

Happy Cooking and Cheers from Gina’s Kitchen!
Foodiewinelover
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
Culinary Aficionado – WSET-Level Wine Connoisseur
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Clams Oreganata

Good evening all! I hope you are ready for some fun in Gina’s Kitchen. Tonight, I prepared Clams Oreganata and I am happy to share this recipe with you.  They were so delicious, my family devoured them one by one.

Serves: 4
Degree of difficulty: Easy – Medium

INGREDIENTS:

  • 25 little neck clams
  • 1/2 cup or so of seasoned breadcrumbs, (Progresso, Italian Style)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3/4 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, (plain olive oil will do also)
  • more olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, optional
  • 1 lemon

PREPARATION:

In a colander, wash the clams thoroughly and place them on a flat baking tray. I will share with you a little trick to make it easier to open them. Preheat oven at 375 degrees and bake the clams for 3 minutes.  They will be open, just detach them one by one so each clam is on one shell. Do this while they are still on the tray. There will be some juice from the clams, leave it in there. Set aside.

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In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, black pepper and olive oil. Sprinkle this mixture on top of all the clams and cover the tray as well.  Place in the broiler for 3 minutes and remove promptly. They should have a nice golden color to them.  Drizzle liberally more olive oil, and squeeze the lemon juice all over the clams. Voila! They make a fancy appetizer but do require a little work.  They are so worth the extra effort, your guests will be very satisfied.  If you choose to drink, I would pair it with a nice Chardonnay.

Bon Appetit!

From Gina’s Kitchen

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