An attorney writes about stuff she'd rather be doing: cooking, eating, wining, dining and traveling.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stuffed Clams Casino

I made these for "dinner" the day after Christmas for Mr. Foodie and myself. After the past few weeks of dinners out, cocktail parties, work dinners, and the topper of Christmas Eve and Christmas day meals, we really just wanted a bottle of wine, some nibbles and a movie.

I very highly recommend having the prosciutto freshly sliced at an Italian deli or Whole Foods. I had a bit of sticker shock at Whole Foods ($29.99 a pound, EEK!) but you only need three thin slices, so it's not so bad and totally worth it.

Stuffed Clams - makes a plate of 24, perfect for a party app or "dinner"

Steaming the clams:
12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
1/4 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. white wine
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
When hot, add the onion and garlic and cook about 2 minutes.
Add the clams and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the wine, lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes or until the clams open.

Set the clams aside to cool a bit. When cool, remove the clam meat and set aside.

Make the filling:
3 slices good quality prosciutto, chopped
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 c. celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 1 tsp.)
1 c. panko bread crumbs
1 small can clams, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 bottle clam juice
1/2 c. parmesan cheese

Heat a little bit of olive oil in a skillet.
Add the proscuitto, onion, celery and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft.
Mix in panko, canned clams and the fresh clam meat. Mix well.
Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and red pepper.
Add just enough clam juice to moisten the mixture (you won't need the whole bottle). I used maybe 1/2 cup.
Stir in most of the parmesan cheese, reserving a bit to sprinkle over the tops.

Fill the clams:
Gently break the clam shells apart at the hinges and rinse well to get rid of any sand.
Fill each shell with a spoonful of the filling.
Sprinkle with remaining parmesan.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Friday, December 26, 2008

S'mores Cookie Bars

S'mores in the form of a cookie bar. Is there a discussion that needs to take place? Didn't think so.

S'mores Cookie Bars
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 and 1/3 c. flour
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 King size Hershey's bars
1.5 c. marshmallow creme or fluff (a 7 oz. jar was plenty)

Preheat oven to 350.
Whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Cream butter and sugars in an electric mixer until fluffy.
Add egg and vanille and beat well.
Add dry ingredients and beat well.

Divide dough into 2 balls. Press one ball into the bottom of an 8x8 square pan. Place chocolate bars in single layer over the dough.
Spread marshmallow over the top of the chocolate.
Press 2nd ball of dough over the top.
I recommend flattening the dough in your hand first and then placing it over the top.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Let cool thoroughly before cutting into squares.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cuban Roast Pork

This was *almost* there. The flavors were really reminiscent of my favorite dish (roast pork with sour orange mojo) at our favorite Cuban spot, Cafe 28. However, cooking a pork roast all day in a slow cooker rendered the meat pretty dry. Ok, very dry.

If I were making this again, I would either use a pork shoulder or I would use the pork roast, but make it in a Dutch oven on the stove top and cook for far less time. This recipe has great potential, so I will definitely be trying again.

I will post the ingredients and what I did this time. If anyone tries this will modifications that work, let me know!

Cuban Roast Pork
1 pork roast or pork shoulder
1 c. lime juice
1 c. orange juice
2 yellow onions, thickly sliced
6-8 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet until hot. Season pork with salt and pepper and brown well on both sides (about 5 minutes per side).

Add to slow cooker, pour juices over the top, top with garlic and onions and add the bay leaf.

Let cook on low for about 5 hours (not the 10 hours that it ended up cooking for by the time I got home from work).

Slice pork and spoon onions and juices over the top. Serve with black beans and rice.