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Posts Tagged ‘Butter’

Before I became a pescetarian, I hardly ever put seafood and pasta together. I always stuck with cooking, or ordering, beef bolognese, which is too bad. Seafood is a great compliment to pasta, especially shellfish.

I’ve never been a huge clam fan, but lately, I’ve given them a chance, and I’m glad I have. They’re becoming one of my favorites to work with and this recipe is in my top 5 pasta dishes.

If you’ve never cooked clams, please, don’t be intimidated. They practically do the work for you, so give them a try.

You can use any size of clam you want for this recipe, so don’t worry if you’re local seafood store only has one kind to choose from.

Let’s get started.

First, soak your clams in cold water for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Why, you ask? As clams breathe they filter water. When the fresh water is filtered, the clam pushes sand out of their shells. After 20 minutes, the clams should have released any sand in their shells.

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Also, get a pot of salted water going for your pasta.

While the clams are in a happy ice bath, and water is getting to the boiling point, let’s get everything else going.

Chop one large shallot and three to four cloves of garlic.

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Now, sauté the shallot and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to continuously stir, because you don’t want the garlic to burn.

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Now add one cup of wine, one tablespoon of butter, red pepper flakes, and the juice of one lemon. By the way, if you don’t have a hand held lemon/lime juicer, get one. The amount of juice you get from using one is way more than squeezing it with your hand.

Let this cook on medium heat for about five minutes. You want the alcohol from the wine to cook out.

Now add one can of clams.

I bet you’re saying, “What??? CANNED clams?”

Yes. Canned clams.

They add more clam flavor to the dish. If you don’t want to add them, you don’t have to. Also add one bottle of clam juice. This is a clam pasta dish, so you want all the clam flavor you can get. Just trust me.

Stir and let it simmer for a minute or two and then taste. You’ll notice I haven’t added salt up to this point. With the canned clams and bottled can juice, you may not want or need anymore salt. If you feel it needs more, add it to your taste. If you think it’s a little tart, add more butter.

Once you have it like you want, it’s time to add the clams, but first, put your pasta in the boiling water and cook ’til al dente.

While your pasta is cooking, put the clams in the sauce, and turn the heat up to medium-high. You can cover them, if you want, but I like to keep them moving. By moving them around, you can see which ones are opening. As soon as a clam opens, take it out and put it in a bowl. The reason I do this is so they don’t overcook while the others open.

Some will take longer, so be patient, and keep them moving around. Once you get most of them out of the sauce, and you see a few still are not opening, just toss them. If they don’t open, they’re not good.

Now, add your cooked (al dente) pasta to your sauce and stir around.

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Add your clams back to the pan and stir.

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Time to eat!!

One good addition to any saucy dish is crunchy bread!

My favorite local bread is made by Elmore Mountain Bread.

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Man, it doesn’t get any better than this!

(Of course, I added chopped parsley and a little grated parmesan.)

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What you’ll need:

2 lbs fresh clams

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

1 cup of white wine (sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)

1 large shallot, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 can of clams

1 bottle of clam juice

1 lemon, juiced

1 box of spaghetti

Salt to taste

Red pepper flakes to taste

Chopped parsley (optional)

Grated parmesan (optional)

Crusty bread (optional)

Directions:

First, soak your clams for twenty minutes before cooking.

Get a pot of salted water going for your pasta.

Chop one whole shallot and three to four cloves of garlic. Sauté them in one tablespoon of olive oil on med heat for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to continuously stir, because you don’t want the garlic to burn.

Add one cup of wine, one tablespoon of butter, red pepper flakes, and the juice of one lemon. Let this cook on medium heat for about five minutes. You want the alcohol from the wine to cook out.

Add one can of clams and one bottle of clam juice.

Stir and let it simmer for a minute or two and then taste. You’ll notice I haven’t added salt up to this point. With the canned clams and bottle juice, you may not want or need anymore salt. If you feel it needs more, add it to your taste. If you think it’s a little tart, add more butter.

Put your pasta in the boiling water and cook ’til al dente.

While your pasta is cooking, put the clams in the sauce, and keep stirring them until they start opening. As soon as a clam opens, take it out and put it in a bowl. This will ensure they won’t overcook while the others begin to open. Be sure to discard the ones that do not open.

Add your cooked (al dente) pasta to your sauce and stir around. Then add your clams and stir one more time.

Enjoy!

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Yes, another Mom inspired recipe and this one makes me smile so big!

When I was a little girl, helping Mom make biscuits on Saturday mornings was the absolute best! She’d let me stand on a stool, or sit on the counter, and help her mix— all four of our hands bringing the dough together. I still remember how cold the buttermilk was when she added more.

“Just keep mixing, it’ll warm up,” she’d say.

She taught me how to rub flour on my hands to get the sticky dough off so we could fold and knead the dough better. In my child mind, it felt like a magic trick.

After we rolled out the dough, it was time to do my favorite part– cut the biscuits! I wasn’t always the most gentle with them, so more times than not, they’d get a little smushed when I put them on the baking sheet. But, that was okay. It didn’t hurt the taste at all.

Once we put them in the oven, I loved turning on the light to watch them rise. There was a sense of accomplishment— I had helped make the beautiful, slightly smushed, biscuits.

The hardest part was figuring out what to put on them. I loved strawberry jelly, but my favorite was a product that’s no longer made— Dixie Dew Syrup. Oh, man, I loved that stuff.

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I’d mix it with a tablespoon of softened butter, then spoon it over each bite of biscuit. Oh, my goodness, I was one happy girl. I remember licking my plate every single time. By the time I was done, my hands and face were a sticky mess, and it was worth it.

These days, I usually mix honey and butter together, but today, I’m doing something a little different. I love maple syrup, so I’m going to mix it with my butter, and see how it works. I have a feeling it’ll be delicious. I mean, Vermont does make THE BEST maple syrup ever, so finding more uses for it is imperative.

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So, let’s get these biscuits going. I’m hungry.

First, put the dry ingredients in a large bowl– flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt– and whisk.

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Now, grate one stick of frozen butter. Yes, I said grate. This is the best tip I’ve ever been given about making biscuits. Grating the butter ensures the dough will be flecked perfectly with the golden goodness.

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Of course, I use Cabot!

See, what a genius idea!

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Work the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands until the mixture is crumbly, like this:

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Now, make a well and put in the buttermilk.

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Mix with your hands until it all comes together. You may have to add a little more buttermilk (but not much). Then, move to a floured surface and continue to work the dough into a ball. The dough will be sticky, so add a little flour at a time and work it in, but don’t add too much. It should look like this:

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Once the dough isn’t sticky anymore, roll it out, and then fold each side of the dough toward the center and then roll out again and then fold again. This creates the layers.

Do this two times, then on the third fold, slightly pat down the dough, and cut with  a biscuit cutter.  I do one biscuit, then ball the dough again, and do the next. Be sure to flour your biscuit cutter to keep it from sticking to the dough.

Push the cutter down and pull straight up. Do NOT twist the cutter before pulling it up. Doing that will seal the edges of the biscuit and not allow the beautiful layers to rise. 

I make four large biscuits, but if you want, you can roll the dough a little thinner, and make 6 smaller biscuits.

Put them in a 420 degree, pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (all ovens are different, so keep an eye on them).

They will rise tall, and may tip over a bit, but no worries, that’s the point.

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Now, put whatever you want on them. My maple syrup and butter mixture was AMAZING!!

Chris smoked a salmon yesterday (glazed with maple syrup and smoked with maple wood), so he made a sandwich with his.

Whatever you decide, it will be good. Jam, jelly, sausage, bacon, egg, cheese, plain… have fun with it and enjoy!

The only thing I wish…

I wish my mom was here to see these beautiful biscuits she taught me to make with so much love. What I would give to make them with her again.

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What you’ll need:

2 Cups All-Purpose flour, plus a little extra to flour your surface

2 Tablespoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1 Stick Frozen Butter

1 Cup Buttermilk (maybe a touch more to help bring the dough together)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 420.

Put the dry ingredients in a large bowl– flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt– and whisk. Grate in one stick of butter. Work the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Make a well in flour mixture and put in the buttermilk. Mix with your hands until it all comes together. You may have to add a little more buttermilk (but not much). Then, move to a floured surface and continue to work the dough into a ball. The dough will be sticky, so add a little flour at a time and work it in, but don’t add too much. Once the dough isn’t sticky anymore, roll it out, and then fold each side of the dough toward the center and then roll out again and then fold again. This creates the layers. Do this two times, then on the third fold, pat down the dough slightly, and cut with  a biscuit cutter.  I do one biscuit, then ball the dough again, and do the next. Be sure to flour your biscuit cutter to keep it from sticking to the dough. Push the cutter down and pull straight up. Do NOT twist the cutter before pulling it up. Doing that will seal the edges of the biscuit and not allow the beautiful layers to rise.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (all ovens are different, so keep an eye on them).

Alternative ingredients:

If you want to make a savory biscuit, add grated cheese and finely chopped jalapeños to the dough. You could even add chopped, cooked bacon, too.

I’ve also done a sage biscuit, and added them to my cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving, which was great!

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