Paella-Style Quick Clam Bake

June 2011
Paella-Style Quick Clam Bake

by 13 people

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I love cornon the cob.Theres a picture ofme in a family album:Asleep in my highchair, I have a firmgrip on a gnawed-tothe-core corncob. Iloved the sweet tasteof corn so much thatI cried if my mothertook away the cob, thekernels long goneatoddlers unfit teethingtoy. I turn 43 thismonth, and I try notto throw such fitswhen summers goldrush of corn runs out.

Makes: 4 servings

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • A generous pinch saffron threads (about 24)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup broken thin spaghetti or orzo pasta
  • 1 cup organic white rice
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/2 pound cured chorizo, casings removed and meat diced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 large ears corn, shucked and cut into 4 pieces each
  • 1 fresno or long hot red chile pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crisp beer or dry white wine
  • 4 pounds littleneck or manila clams (about 12 clams per person), scrubbed
  • A generous handful cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the stock and saffron together to steep the saffron threads, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pasta and brown until nutty and fragrant. Stir in the rice, then stir in the tomato and saffron stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until tender, 16 to 18 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and brown for a couple of minutes. Stir in the corn, chile pepper and garlic.
  4. Add the beer (or wine) and clams; scatter the cilantro (or parsley) on top. Cover the pan and cook until the clams open, 7 to 10 minutes. Discard any unopened clams. Stir to combine the sauce. Serve the pasta and rice in shallow bowls, topped with the clams, corn and sauce.