- Toast a head of crushed garlic and three chopped shallots in butter.
- Add a kilo or more of clams, 2 sliced leeks, a generous handful of Chantenay carrots, diced smoked bacon and stir-fry until the clams start opening.
- Add a jar of double cream and a big glass of dry Breton cider, Picardian blonde beer, or dry white wine.
- Stir well, gently bring to a boil and simmer with the lid closed until the smell of alcohol goes. Remember to stir occasionally.
- Douse liberally with freshly ground black pepper. No salt necessary as the clam juice and bacon are salty enough.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Palourdes à la bretonne, or clams Breton style. Palourdes is the closest French word I could find to call these clams (they would be called coques, if they were ribbed). In fact, they are Vietnamese natives, known locally as Nghêu Bến Tre, quite a mouthful, so let's stick with palourdes.
This is also one of my improved recipes: normally, Breton style should mean aux lardons et oignons, with bacon and onions. However, a long afternoon in St. Mâlo, Brittany, spent looking for mussels cooked that style proved that locals have never heard of anything of the kin. I did not give up and went on to elaborate on what Breton style cooking should be like, which is how all "traditional authentic national cusines" were invented in the first place anyway.
So here how it goes: