Sometimes, I amaze myself.
I mean, I know I’m not inventing the wheel or anything here, this recipe is a riff on Cataplana, a spicy Portuguese stew. But you know me, Readers, I live my culinary life flying by the seat of my pants. I usually have a general idea of what I want to do, and occasionally I have the ingredients to do it. Otherwise, I wing it with the ingredients I do have.
For this one, I had a pound of Manila clams that needed cooking. And I had to pick up my sausage order from Jason. And I didn’t really have anything else. Of course.
Whaddaya know, a random box of chicken stock, and old half-bottle of sauv blanc lingering in the back of the fridge and a free overripe tomato from my friend at the farmer’s market. Bingo.
You have to soak the clams in some cold salted water so they will purge all their sandy stuff. I put them in a bowl, cover with water and put about 2 tsp of salt in. Then stand back and watch! It’s fun to see them all spitting. I am easily entertained.
I sauteed the sausage and onion together until the onion was soft, then added the clams, tomatoes, garlic and the liquid. Cover and let them boil until the clams open. It should only take a few minutes. Add some chopped parsley into the mix.
When I first put all the liquid in I thought “oh crap, it’s too brothy”. You might think that too, but don’t despair. The broth is so good, you want it all. It was almost not enough! Get some nice crusty bread that you can soak it all up with, you will be happy you did.