OMG! While sitting in the lounge of a hotel yesterday in San Francisco who walked in but Tyler Florence!!!! And I shook his hand! I am still so excited – he is absolutely one of my favorite Food Network stars and religiously watch his Tyler’s Ultimate show! OMG! How very exciting!
But back to reality and my humble cooking skills….this past weekend, we headed into NYC to wander around the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy. Wow, was it mobbed (ha, ha). For a few hours, we braved the crowds up and down Mulberry Street, shoulder to shoulder with fellow paisans. We managed to wrestle into a few food stands to taste the yummy food but after a few hours, needed a tad of space so headed home to whip up a quick dinner – and with a fresh seafood market enroute, Vongole al Vino Bianco was the choice to calm those hunger pangs from the smell of wafting garlic at the Feast. This is a great go-to dish – simple and fast to prepare and so forgiving. You like more garlic, toss it in. More vino, ditto. Although my favorite way to prepare this is over pasta, we decided to keep it simple. So I diced up some of the last tomatoes from the garden and made a simple chunky tomato sauce to highlight the dish. Some wonderful grilled ciabatta bread to mop up all the tasty juices and a crisp bottle of white wine and we were in heaven!
Vongole al Vino Bianco
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 3-4 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed (I used 2 25-count bags)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (divided)
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon brandy
Good crusty Italian bread like a ciabatta, thickly sliced
Make the tomatoes:
1. Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the chopped garlic and saute just until tender – be careful not to burn.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer over medium heat until reduced and thickened.
3. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Lower heat and keep warm.
Make the clams:
1. Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet until hot. Add the chopped garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the clams. Cover and allow to cook for a few minutes.
2. Uncover. Add 1/2 the parsley, the white wine and brandy. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate – about 2 minutes.
3. Cover and simmer until the clams are open. As the clams open, move them to a warmed bowl. Discard any that do not open.
4. Once all the clams are opened, keep bowl of clams warm.
5. Add the rest of the parsley to the pan. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the broth to slightly reduce.
6. Grill bread on grill pan or outdoor grill until crusty.
7. To serve, place clams in serving bowl. Pour juice over the clams. Add tomatoes in center and arrange bread around clams.
8. Serve and enjoy!