I treat food blogs like I used to treat Barbie dolls. Find one I love, gush and obsess over it, lock myself in my room with it for days, then chop off all its hair, take off all its clothes, throw it in a trunk, and go shopping for a new one.
Okay. Maybe the similie doesn’t translate entirely. (And yes, my parents did stop indulging this shameful, strange habit as soon as they caught on.) The bottom line? When I find a food blog I like, it’s all I care about, for at least three days. I read it like it’s my job. After I’ve rifled through its index, however, and picked out all the recipes Dourmet wants to do, I cast it aside to my bookmarks, and gallop off in search of another one.
That isn’t to say I don’t have my favorite food blogs. Like Veterinarian Barbie and Pastry Chef Barbie, who lived outside the toy trunk, there are sites I check daily, like Smitten Kitchen and Serious Eats. And now, Food 52, the community cooking blog I mentioned a little while ago.
Soon after I first discovered Food 52, I found this recipe, and immediately saved it to my user profile. It was voted a “Community Pick,” in other words, an honorable mention in the weekly recipe contests. Though I saved 14 other recipes, this was the one I simply couldn’t wait to make. Like Pocahontas Barbie, I had to have it. I hardly thought it was possible, but this recipe makes the classic clams with white wine broth even better. Charred tomatoes: juicy and yellow. Grilled chorizo: grilled and smoky. Fresh basil: aromatic and green. Lemon zest: bright and tart. Tastes like poetry! Combine these flavors together over a flaming grill with briny clams and lots of wine and butter, add in some garlicky bread, and oh-my-God. Eating a bowl of that is so much better than playing with a Barbie doll ever was. I think even me as a child would agree.
Clams with Grilled Chorizo, Charred Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, and Herbs
adapted from Ms. T, Food 52
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 chorizo sausages
- 6-8 thick slices country bread (I used whole wheat)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 70-80 clams
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 generous handful parsley and basil
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
Skewer tomatoes and brush lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Same way, brush bread slices with olive oil and season. Cut sausages in half length-wise. Grill tomatoes, bread, and sausage over medium-high heat until all are lightly browned/edges charred on both sides and tomatoes are juicy. Remove all from grill. Immediately, rub bread on both sides with a raw garlic clove. Allow all to cool slightly.
Chop chorizo into bite-sized pieces, set aside. Mince remaining garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter on stove top in heavy iron skillet (I used a disposable roasting pan) over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add chopped chorizo, grilled tomatoes (removed from skewers), and half of chopped herbs. Add wine. Once liquid starts simmering, add clams to skillet, and place entire skillet on the grill (high heat), covering. Stir occasionally.
When liquid is bubbling and all clam shells have opened, remove skillet from grill. Sprinkle with remaining herbs, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Serve right out of the skillet with grilled bread on the side.