Friday, August 24, 2012

Clams in Red Sauce w/ Homemade Garlic Breadsticks

Unfortunately I did not get a photo of last nights dinner because I was too busy shoving it into my face with both hands. No lie! I asked my husband if it tasted so good because I was starving (I don't eat much all day, between the baby and cleaning the house I forget to eat!), or if I really am as awesome of a chef as I thought! He agreed that it was very delicious.

Scroll doooooowwwwwwwnnnn for the recipe if you'd rather avoid my rambling =)

Where did I get the inspiration for this dish you ask? Well several years ago, my husband and I went on what I like to call a dream vacation, AKA a Cruise! If you've ever been on a cruise, you would understand what I mean when I say there are MOUNTAINS of food. They will keep feeding you until you burst, literally, I think I saw a news story one time where that happened.... I'm sure it wasn't pretty! Anyway, while I was slurping down snails, frozen strawberry soup, and volcanoes of chocolate heaven, my husband was enjoying a delectable dish that consisted of clams, red sauce, and various other things that he cannot remember but insists it was one of the best meals he's ever had! It must have been if he still talks about it years later!

Occasionally I would try (not very hard I admit) to replicate this for him. You see, while making our weekly shopping list/meal plan, I always consult my husband with a "What would you like to eat this week dear (please pick something that's on sale)?" and he always replies with a "I don't know", "I don't care", or a "...(zoned out playing Black Ops)", SO, I make my list based around weekly specials/sales/what seems yummy! Occasionally, like I said, I would come across a can/jar of 'Red clam sauce' in the grocery store, a little lightbulb would go off in my head, and I'd hope and pray it didn't taste like the last 3 'Disappointments in a can". Alas, it did, so like any good wife I'd empty half of my spice rack into the pot in hopes to salvage a half-decent dinner, and say better luck next time!

Well all that changed about a week ago, I had an epiphany. My husband's grandmother makes Clam-Pie, which is basically Chicken-Pot-Pie but with Clams. And let me tell you right now, that woman can COOK HER SOCKS OFF! I think she'd give Julia Child a run for her money in all honesty.

OK so my husband goes "Why don't you ever make clam pie?!"
and I'm like "... I can do that sometime, just let me find a recipe"
and he's like "Just call mommom and ask her how she makes it!! I want it to taste like hers!"
and I'm thinking 'Iwannadoitmyselffffff *Stewart from MADTV voice*' but I say "OK" -> See, I have this complex where I don't want people to think there's anything I can't do!! I don't know where it came from, but I'm slowly letting go of it in order to be the best me I can be! So I am letting other people teach me stuff and admitting I don't know everything!

She says "Why don't we make it together! That way I can show you and you can learn from doing!" (which is soooo much better, I'm definitely a hands-on type person!)
So she brings the ingredients over and blah blah blah.... Long story shor---- Well still long but not as long as it could be =) ---> We have some extra ingredients left over, and several days later that lightbulb in my head dinged again, and this time it felt more like one of those lights at the football field as night approaches! BAM!

 So here we go =) It turned out AMAZING! Next time I make it I want to play around with the idea of adding some shrimp into the mix aswell!

Clams in Red Sauce

  • 1-2 cans of 6.5oz Chopped Clams in Clam Juice
  • 8oz Clam Juice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3tbs Olive Oil
  • 2/3 c. Dry White Wine
  • 1 Cubanelle Pepper minced or sliced very thin
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt / Pepper to taste
  • 1.5tsp dried Thyme
  • Linguine or other pasta
  • 1 Large tomato - blanched w/ skin removed, & chopped.
  • 1 can (16-20oz pasta sauce - store bought or homemade)
  1. Heat oil in a large deep skillet over med-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and cubanelle pepper and sautee for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Pour in wine, red pepper flakes, and thyme.
  4. Cook ~5minutes until the wine has reduced to 1/3.
  5. Add Clam Juice & Canned Clams and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce to a heavy simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add tomato & sauce, & simmer for 25-30mins until thickened.  Add salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Serve over prepared Linguine or other pasta of your choice.

Homemade Garlic Breadsticks

  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1/2 stick of salted butter, melted to liquidy goodness.
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan Cheese -> try to get the good stuff if you can =)  if not, the shaky kind will do.
  1. Mix all flour, 1/2tsp. garlic powder, sugar, & baking powder in a bowl.  Add milk until a soft ball of dough forms.  Dump out onto a floured surface, & knead several times (no more than 10, you don't want to make it tough do you?)
  2. Roll out dough to 1/2in. thickness, and using a dough cutter, pizza cutter, exacto knife, or whatever you got, cut into even 'sticks' about 3/4in. width.
  3. In a bowl, mix together your melted butter, remaining 1/2tsp garlic powder, and parsley.
  4. While your dough is laying there all cut up and vulnerable, slather it real good using a pastry brush (or your kid's watercolor brush - shh I won't tell) with your butter mixture.
  5. Carefully slide a flat object under the uncooked breadsticks, and gingerly transport them to a greased cookie sheet where you will flip them so they are buttered side down.
  6. You got it.  Butter the other side now.
  7. Pop those babies in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes (check them after 8, everyone's oven is different!)
  8. When they come out immediately slap the remaining butter on them (just eat some Cheerios in the morning - it'll cancel this out, trust me!) and while they are still hot, sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan Cheese on top!

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