Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shellfish Steaming Stock Base for Mussels, Cockles, and Clams

I have been searching for perfection in my quest for a blow your mind recipe for steaming shell fish. Last night I did. I considered simply updating my existing spicy mussels recipe with this new recipe, but there is enough difference in flavor and prep time that I decided to go ahead and create a separate recipe. Also, the side dish I prepared with these mussels balanced the flavors in a really simple and effective way.

And completely by accident I created a seafood soup stock that had my dinner guests asking for good Italian bread that they then used to dip and sop up as much of the stock as they could. One of my guests was allergic to shellfish, and she risked hives in order to sample the sauce from the mussels--more than once.

These mussels take a little bit longer prep time (adding an additional 20 minutes), but it is worth it. Sweet baby Jesus it is worth it. I will post the recipe for the side dish (Buttered Noodles with Asparagus and Button Mushrooms) in a separate post. I loved that so much that I may make another batch of it today.

So here it is:

Shellfish Steaming Stock Base (Mussels, Cockles, Clams)

2 to 4lbs of your favorite mussels, cockles, or clams
1 loaf of fresh Italian bread or baguette
4 cups sweet white wine (I use pinot grigio)
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp salt
2 tsps fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp fresh rosemary
2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp Brandon's Shut Yo Mouth Hot Sauce or two thai peppers diced
1 jalapeno diced
1/2 tsp hot sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp salted Irish butter
1/2 cup fresh cilantro minced
1 bunch scallions minced
1/2 small red onion minced
1/4 cup sweetened cooking sake
1 package Goya Sazon con Azafran

Combine all the ingredients, except the shellfish and butter, in a large pot. Stir the steaming stock and make sure that all of the ingredients are well mixed. Then add the butter to the pot.

Next over medium high heat bring the stock to a simmer. DO NOT LET THE STOCK BOIL! If the stock boils it will weaken the flavor. Once the stock has reached a steady simmer, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the stock and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Next add your shellfish to the pot. Cover, turn the heat to high, and steam the shellfish for 7 to 10 minutes (cockles take less time, clams take the most time). Uncover, remove any shellfish that have not opened, and serve. Prepare to have your mind blown. Pour the juice in a dipping bowl and serve with fresh baguette or Italian bread for dipping.

Depending on how your kitchen is stocked in terms of spices, this recipe will run you $16 to $20, and it will feed four people comfortably. Consider serving it with my Buttered Noodles with Asparagus and Button Mushrooms.

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