Clams with Bacon & Jalapeño
Friggin January, guys. The doldrums of winter here. Holiday decorations are packed away and our cookie tin is officially empty.
Bbbbllaaahhhhhh, you can find me in my yoga pants, fuzzy socks and Sherpa sweatshirt until about May......maybe late April if Spring cooperates.
Lucky for you and those in my household, what do I do with nothing else to do?
Throw an apron over the Sherpa and get cooking!
Think hearty, warm, seconds-encouraged kind of food around here, to be precise.
Which brings me to this dish.
A steaming bowl of fresh clams with ample broth to dunk away with.
Did I say seconds encouraged? Whoops, I lied. I don’t share when it comes to clams and bread.
Kidding! Kidding! I just make 1000 of them and don’t have to worry about my portion being enjoyed by someone other than myself.
Well, not 1000. But 50 between me and Husband is a pretty decent serving so that’s what I called for in this recipe.
Sautéed in white wine, bacon and jalapeño, this clam dish is spot on. Something about clams and bacon, mmmmMMMmmmm. Maybe it‘s the salt from the bacon and brine from the clams? Can’t say for sure, but nevertheless, it’s a good place to be. Throw in some spicy jalapeños and tart lemons......it’s a dish to happily get lost in.
So while old man winter keeps us trapped indoors, go ahead and get some clams and get cooking. With food like this, you too may not want to come out until May either!
Clams with Bacon & Jalapeño
Serves: 2-4 as an appetizer
50 little neck clams, brushed and soaked for at least 30 minutes (about 4 lbs)
1 shallot, minced
1 lemon, quartered into 4 pieces
2 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 jalapeño pepper or 1 whole if your like extra heat, diced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 TBS unsalted butter, divided
1/4 tsp dried parsley or 1 TBS fresh, chopped
1 C dry white wine
Bread, for dipping!
In a deep and large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon, shallot, garlic, jalapeño, salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
Add 1 TBS butter and continue to let cook. Once bacon is crispy and well browned, about 10 minutes, add the wine.
Once wine has been added, drain clams from soaking bowl. Add clams to pan. Squeeze 2 lemons over the clams and place lemon pieces in pan. Cover pan. Turn heat to high and let clams cook.
After 5 minutes, open pan and remove any open clams and place in a separate large bowl. Replace cover and continue to let clams cook. Keep checking every 2 minutes to remove any opened clams. Continue until all clams are opened. If it has been over 15/20 minutes, and there are 1-3 unopened clams, throw those away. (They should have opened by now, so those are bad)
Lower heat to medium-low and add 1 TBS butter and 1 lemon quarter (squeezed first!) to pan. Add clams back and stir well to combine.
Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!