Paella-Style Quick Clam Bake
This easy paella offers complex flavors and a spectacular presentation.
For the rice:
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- A generous pinch of 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
For the clams and corn:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (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 chili 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 of cilantro or flat leaf parsley, chopped
In a medium size saucepan, heat the stock and saffron together to steep the saffron threads, about 5 minutes.
In a medium size 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, 16-18 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and brown for a couple of minutes. Stir in the corn, chili pepper and garlic.
Add the beer (or wine) and clams; scatter the cilantro (or parsley) on top. Cover the pan and cook until the clams open, 7-10 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.