Linquini with Clam Sauce

11/25/07 | by alvaro [mail] | Categories: Quick Meals

I wanted to experiment with canned clams, to see if they where a suitable substitute for fresh clams in a clam sauce.

I grabbed a can of baby clams I had in the pantry and scoured the internet for ideas. This recipe seemed appropriate so I based this meal around it.

Can O Clams

Linguine with Lemon Clam Sauce

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (I probably used more…)
1 shallot, minced (Eh, I never have these around so I used onions!)
2 cans (6 1/2 ounces each) minced clams, drained and liquid reserved (mine where not minced.)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I used dried parsley, I thought it was good enough)
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (I think this was key)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 pound linguine, cooked and drained
Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 3 tablespoons butter and the olive oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute garlic and shallot until tender.

Add the liquid from the clams, lemon juice, parsley, lemon peel, pepper and bay leaf. Simmer until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove bay leaf. Stir in clams; heat through but do not boil. Add remaining butter; stir.

Pour over hot linguine; toss to coat. When serving, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

linguine with clam sauce

I also thickened the sauce up a bit by adding a little corn starch. This made it stick to the pasta a whole lot better!

Conclusions:

Using canned baby clams is a decent substitute for fresh clams. Lemon zest is mandatory, and using corn starch as a thicker really gave the sauce some consistency.

This is a highly recommended 20 minute meal!

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Canned Shrimp - Chicken of the Sea

11/25/07 | by alvaro [mail] | Categories: Product Review

In my never ending quest to make food preparation quicker and easier, I decided to try some canned shrimp. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I thought it would be a great pantry item to have, since you can really spruce up a soup or a salad with something like this. Well, I think this picture speaks for itself quite well.

Gross Canned Shrimp

It was simply gross. It had a canned tuna fish like chemical odor. Texture was like grainy butter. Oh Yuck! One spoonful was all I could take before It was thrown away.

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Pumpkin-Squash Bisque

11/23/07 | by alvaro [mail] | Categories: Soups+Stews

This year I grew round zucchini. These things are very common in Uruguay and Argentina. When picked small (baseball), they can be stuffed and are simply delicious.

Small Round Zucchini (Zapallitos)

I let one grow to the size of a soccer ball so I could save the seeds for next year. At this point it taste similar to a pumpkin, so I decided that this guy plus the decoration out front would make a nice autumn soup!

I loosely followed this recipe. Alton Brown’s Squash Soup

This is roughly what it had in it:

1/2 small pumpkin
1 Round Zucchini
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3 ounces evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup of rescued pumpkin dip (This was saved in the freezer). This is the unknown, it had all sorts of stuff in it. It was mostly canned pumpkin, sugar, cream cheese and misc spices. Adding some honey and cream should reproduce this if you want a sweeter soup…

This turned out to be a delicious autumn bisque!

Autumn Bisque
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Broccoli-Ham Soup

11/23/07 | by alvaro [mail] | Categories: Appetizers

About a year ago, I started saving all my left over veggie parts. Alison does not like the broccoli stalks, so there was at least 1.5 gallons of those. About a quart of asparagus but ends, 1/2 a quart of long green onion green ends, 1/2 quart of anise. I also saved misc things, like 1/4 can of canned carrots, 1/4 can of beans and even a fair amount of blood from a cow tenderloin! I even found a nice chunk of ham from the last holiday season. Yum. Oh and while I was at it, I went to the front of the house and used a decoration (small pumpkin) in it too. There is only one thing you can do with such an varied array of junk - soup!

So here it is:

Broccoli Ham Soup

I added the junk to water. Let water boil. Threw out most of it, then took the good stuff and put it in the blender. I left 1/2 the pumpkin and the meat pieces whole. Towards the end I decided it didn’t have enough flavor, so I sautéed 1/2 an onion in olive oil, then when translucent added mashed up garlic. I put this into the soup then back into the bender to fully incorporate it. This is an easy fix for any bland soup!

Here is a list of stuff that is in the soup.

Freezer:
broccoli stalks
long green onion stalks
celery
anise
asparagus
1/4 can of carrots
1/4 can of navy beans
1/8 quart blood
Unidentified Cow Part
chunk of holiday ham

Fresh:
1/2 small pumpkin
1/2 onion
4 cloves of garlic
chicken stock

It’s pretty yummy. Tastes similar to a pea-ham soup!

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11/18/07 | by alvaro [mail] | Categories: Soups+Stews

I wanted a quick tomato soup without resorting to using Campbell’s soup. I find that it has an overwhelming chemical and corn syrup flavor plus an itchy throat after-tingle. I started by lightly cooking some onion until translucent in olive oil. I added garlic, then threw in the can of tomato, 1.25 cans of milk, .3 cans of red wine, and then some misc spices… It was pretty delicious. A little kick was added by using two shakes of Tabasco brand Habanero sauce.

Ingredient List:

15 oz can tomato sauce
20 oz milk
5 oz red wine
1/4 - 1/2 an onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp chicken stock powder
1/8 tsp all spice
black pepper
chili powder
paprika
parsley flakes
Tabasco Habanero Sauce

Notes:
If you don’t want a sweet soup, make sure it has no sugar, or use diced tomatoes

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