Chilli clams and spicy fries with crispy kale
Lately I noticed that I haven’t really been in the mood for much meat. I usually eat meat way too often but since I sat down and thought what I wanted to do in 2014, eating less meat is one of the goals.
I am sure that you need to listen to your body so I have put more focus on eating vegetarian and seafood. Today was another slightly manic Saturday but I managed to get a visit in to the fishmongers on the way home from seeing friends. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to buy, I figured I would know when I saw it. They have so much, at first I was tempted by the mussels but then I decided to make a different version of mussels and fries. Instead of mussels I got clams and I made fries instead of buying them. We also went past the allotment and got some curly kale and all I had to do now was to cook them. I love moules frites, mussels and fries but I wanted to add more flavor and spices.
preparation time 5 minutes
cooking time 25-20 minutes
oven 200C or 400F
- 2 baking potatoes
- 1/2 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tbsp seasalt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp rapseed oil
Cut the potatoes in to fries. Par boil for 7 minutes and then drain them. When they are boiling mix the spices, crush the garlic, remove the stalk from the rosemary and chop the leaves and add the oil. Add the spices to the potatoes, make sure they are coated all around. Place on a no stick baking paper and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The spices made the “fries” much more interesting than with just salt and they had a lovely bite. I got the inspiration for the sesame seeds and the mustard seeds from our neighbor who makes wonderful pan fried potatoes with sesame seeds, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
Whilst the potatoes are cooking prepare the clams. I always place them in cold water at first, most if them, of they are alive will open and any sand will come out. Take the clams out of the water and remove the ones who don’t close up properly as they are dead. Gently tap them against the bench and if you come across any that don’t sound as if they have a slightly hollow sound (or sound like the others) but have a more thumping sound and are very heavy, discard these as they might have sand in them and one sand filled clam would ruin the dish.
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 6 minutes
- 1/2 kg or 1.1 pound of clams
- 1/2 carrot
- 2 shallot onions
- 1 red chilli
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 rash of smoked, streaky bacon
- 2 dl or 1 cup of chicken stock
- 1 tbsp creme fraiche
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
Chop the carrot, celery, shallot onion and the chilli fine.
Chop the smoked bacon rash and pan fry it in the oil, just enough for the bacon to flavor the oil. Then add the chopped vegetables and cook them soft but don’t let them get any color. Add the chicken stock and boil down to half.
When the fries have about 5 minutes to go turn the oven up to 230C or 450F and add the clams to the boiling chicken stock with bacon and vegetables. Let cook until the clams are opened and again discard any clams that haven’t opened before serving. Add the creme fraiche and let stand with the lid on until you are ready to serve.
Remove the stalks from the curly kale and put in a plastic bag. Toss with tbsp oil, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. Place on a non stick paper and bake until crispy.
The kale added more texture to the dish. The potatoes were full of flavor and the spices gave them a nice zing. We got tucked in to the clams and scooped up the last of the juices with chunks of sourdough bread. It definitely hit my “mussel and fries” spot and was even nicer with a bottle of white Sancerre.