I’m going to be doing an upcoming feature on sauces, so I’ve been trying to practice my technique. I was sitting in a coffee shop this afternoon thinking about what I wanted to cook and I started imagining a bowl of nice white sauce topped with something red and aromatic. I immediately thought chorizo and then I decided that clams and chorizo would be a perfect combination.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Time to Make: 40 minutes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock, microwaved until very hot
1/2 cup heavy cream
Dash of white pepper
Half a lemon
Clams and Chorizo
20 littleneck clams
8 ounces dried, Spanish chorizo
1 small fennel bulb, fronds reserved
1/2 Vidalia onion
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fresh parsley
Toasted ciabatta bread for serving
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare Ingredients: Remove the casing from the chorizo and discard. Dice the chorizo into small cubes. Finely chop the onion. Discard the core from the fennel bulb and finely chop the bulb. Pick a bit of the fronds from the fennel and roughly chop and reserve for garnish. Peel the lemon and mince the peel and then juice the lemon. Mince the parsley. Scrub the clams and keep chilled until ready to serve.
Prepare the Chorizo: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the diced chorizo and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the fat has rendered. Next, add the diced onion and fennel to the sauce and cook for 10-12 minutes or until very soft and cooked through. Finally, add the lemon juice and wine and bring to a boil. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and then reduce heat to low, add the clams, and cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the clams have all opened. Remove from heat.
Prepare the Sauce Suprême: While the clams are cooking, prepare the sauce suprême. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a saucepan until frothy. Add the flour and use a wooden spoon to incorporate and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the stock, one ladle at a time, and use a metal whisk to combine thoroughly. Ensure that the mixture is smooth after each addition of stock. Continue adding the stock until none remains and the sauce is smooth. Add a dash of white pepper, the heavy cream, and the lemon juice and whisk to combine. Taste and season with salt if desired. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until melted.
To Serve: Divide half a ladle of sauce suprême between bowls. Spoon a bit of the chorizo mixture and its oil on top. Arrange clams on top and garnish with reserved fennel fronds. Serve with toasted bread. Leftover sauce suprême can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.