Monday, October 13, 2008

Ingredients for 4 servings

12 cherrystone clams
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Fish Stock (recipe follows)
2 cups vermouth or white wine
2 cans (16 ounces each) tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound sea scallops
8 crab claws or claw-shaped surimi
Fresh bay leaves for garnish

To prepare clams,* discard any clams that remain open when tapped with fingers. To clean clams, scrub with stiff brush under cold running water. Soak clams in mixture of 1/3 cup salt to 1 gallon water 20 minutes. Drain water; repeat 2 more times.
*If fresh clams in shells are not available, substitute 1/2 pint shucked clams. Steam in vegetable steamer until firm. Omit steps 1 and 2.
To steam clams, place 1 cup water in large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add clams. Cover stockpot; reduce heat to medium. Steam 5 to 7 minutes or until clams open. Remove from stockpot with tongs; set aside. Discard any clams that remain unopened.
Heat oil in stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers and garlic. Cover; reduce heat to low. Cook 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add Fish Stock, vermouth, tomatoes, basil, thyme, bay leaf and red pepper. Partly cover; simmer 30 minutes.
Add clams, shrimp, scallops and crab claws to tomato mixture. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand until shrimp turn pink and scallops turn opaque.
Remove bay leaf; discard. Ladle into large pasta or soup bowls. Garnish, if desired.

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