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Food Talk
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:32 PM   #1
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***JJR4884 Clams Zuppa w/ Toasted Ciabatta***

Ahoy all

Wow haven't done this in a while lol.... anyways my father has been begging for this for 2 weeks now so I figured I would DIY this as well. Basically cooked clams in a loose tomato broth, don't be shy on the crushed black pepper

OK list of ingredients

21 Littlenecks
1 can of crushed kitchen ready tomatoes (28 oz, Pastene brand if you got it)
1 tsp of tabasco sauce
8 garlic cloves, sliced not too thin (6-8 slices per clove)
1 loaf of ciabbata bread, you should get 10 1 inch slices out of it, maybe a few more
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper... more than your average amount

Pinches of:
garlic power
dried basil
red pepper flakes
fresh parmigiano if you have it

Start with the garlic, slice em up... if they are too big cut it in half lengthwise first, then slice

Put some EVOO in a pan and sautee that garlic. Med heat for about 7 minutes, since the garlic is big, you don't want to cook it too fast since the outside will burn and the inside will still be raw.... caca

a good test is to put a fork through it, if its soft and doesn't stick to the fork, you are good to go

put the can of tomatoes in, then fill the empty can up 3/4 the way with water, pour it in. Get your clam juice bottle, pour it in. Add a normal amount of salt and a generous amount of black pepper, and a teaspoon of tabasco.... stir well so the water can mix well with the tomatoes, put on high heat.

This sauce is going to cook on high (or med-high) for a good 45 minutes before the clams go in. I try to keep the heat on high and actually "burn" the sauce a little just because it gives a ton of depth and "rustic-ness" to the entire dish.

FYI, when i am cooking the sauce i keep the lid on, tilted just a tad

So, when the sauce is cooking, get the ciabatta and cut it (i angle it like teh ) and make 1 inch slices... should get about 10 slices Put the bread on a cooking sheet and brush some EVOO on the top, and sprinkle some kosher salt and black pepper on top.... nothing crazy, just a little bit

After about 15 minutes or so of cooking on high, and stirring every few minutes give the sauce a taste. I had to add a sprinkle of grated parmigiano, garlic powder, and basil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Added a little water as well (quarter can)

See how you can see how some of the sauce is a dark brown?

At this point after the sauce was cooking 15 minutes, you can put the bread in the oven on a cookie sheet, 350-400 for a good 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it, the bread should be crispy out the outside, but not browned and "toasted." Check it after 15 minutes, and use your judgment to see if it needs to be in there for longer. Middle rack is fine

Keep stirring and let this sauce really cook well, don't be surprised if you have to add a quarter can of water from time to time. I think i added water to the sauce 3 or 4 times just because it was thickening up a lot.

You'll see when you stir it, the outside edges will actually be brown (as seen above), ... the reason i do this (like said before) is because it just adds so much depth and flavor to the sauce, it just tastes better with this dish "burnt" than it does with that "fresh tomato taste"... rustic is the best way to describe it i guess LOL

when the bread is ready, take it out of the oven and just leave it, nothing else has to be done with it

ok so if you are happy with your sauce, and its loose, keep the heat up and throw the clams in. be careful, don't actually throw them lol... drop them in nicely because they can crack if dropped hard enough. the clams don't really need any prep, a quick rinse is fine but if you want to give them a little scrub you can do that as well....

FYI, closed lid when the clams are cooking

once the clams are in, keep on med-high heat, stir every 5 or so minutes that way they cook evenly. Should take about 10-15 minutes for them to open up. if you see some that don't open don't worry, just stick a spoon through the front of them and twist a little bit, if they open right up you are good.... if not and they still remain closed, chances are that clam is dead so just toss it something not to get nervous about, this time there were about 6 clams i had to open up at the end. just make sure you wait until most of the clams are open before you test the ones that are closed.

once they are done, its time to plate up. your bread should have been out of the oven a while ago which is fine, i serve the bread at room temp anyways

so put a few clams in a bowl, fill'er up with some broth, and serve with the bread

See the consistency? Definitely best when loose

nommmmmmmmmmm nice and crispy

Yep...... thats all garlic in there :excited

FYI, had a bunch of broth left over since i made this for 3 people.... i'll use that for 3/4lb of linguini some time this week If you have about 5 or 6 people to serve, give them 4 or 5 clams each and you'll have just enough broth for the entire serving

Hope you enjoyed As usual sorry for the shitty pics


*Adam wish you were here

Last edited by JJR4884; 07-16-2009 at 08:39 PM.
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