Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gone Again

Jim is on the left, Bill is on the Right

Well, Jim is gone again. He left at 5:00 this morning for the Cajun Canyons Tourney in Venice, LA. I won't see him until Tuesday of next week. I enjoy being home alone, I can eat whatever I want, relax, watch whatever I want on T.V., and lounge around in a towel all night...but when night comes I hate it. I have a feeling I will be getting tired of this leaving for a week thing. We just have so many things to take care of, its not logical to leave that much all the time.

I leave for Biloxi next week, I'm excited to see Brandi but wish it were a couple of weeks out, I just need some home time and I hate leaving our dogs so much. At least after Biloxi we are home for a good solid 3 weeks...or at least I will be home for 3 weeks. We are so spontaneous I don't even know if it is 3 weeks, I guess I will just have to see what the weeks bring me.

I haven't seen my good friend Lori in over a month. I have dinner plans at Urban Flats with her tonight. It's always nice to catch up with Lori and I look forward to some good flat bread and a glass of wine.

I have to share this recipe with you, I will be making this for my weekend. It's wonderful, but I am a clam lover!

Serves: Serves 4

For the soup3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion (1/4-inch dice)

1/2 cup diced leek (1/4-inch dice)

1/4 cup diced celery (1/4-inch dice)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 bay leaf

Gray salt and freshly ground pepper

3 cups Chicken Stock or canned low-salt chicken broth

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks1-

1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano

Dash Tabasco sauce

1/2 cup diced new or fingerling potatoes

1/2 cup heavy cream

For the warm clam salad

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon slivered garlic

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 pound Manila or other small clams in shells, scrubbed

Gray salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 cup packed coarsely chopped arugula or watercress

Directions Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, leek, celery, garlic, and bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and russet potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking or scorching. Add the oregano.
Discard the bay leaf and puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Taste for seasoning and add the Tabasco. (The soup can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for several days or frozen.)
Pour the soup into a large saucepan with the diced new potatoes, and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream, heat through, then stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Taste for seasoning. Keep warm.
At this point, make the warm clam salad: Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and sauti briefly until light brown. Add the wine, clams, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally to redistribute and turn the clams, until open and cooked, about 3 minutes. If you use clams other than Manilas, you will need to cover the pan while they cook.
Remove the opened clams to a plate with a slotted spoon. Give any clam that has not opened a firm crack with a pair of tongs or metal spoon, turn it in the liquid, and cook for another minute to see if it will open. Discard any that do not open. Return the pan to high heat and bring the liquids to a boil to reduce the cooking juices slightly. Add the parsley and arugula and stir just to wilt. Taste for seasoning, return the clams to the pan, and toss well to reheat.

P.S. I dont use Gray salt, and if you dont have some of the fancy stuff you dont have to add it.

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