Recipe by Marea

Recipe by Marea

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Littleneck Clams with Chorizo, Sherry, and Pimenton Aioli
by Lauren Desteno, Marea 240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Quantity                Unit                          Ingredient

4                                 dozen                      Littleneck Clams
½                               cup                          Cornmeal

6                                ounces                      Chorizo, cut into half moons
1                                 medium                   Onion, diced into ½ inch squares
4                                each                           Garlic Cloves, sliced
1                                 cup                            Dry Sherry
1                                 cup                            Dry White Wine
1 ½                            cup                            Water
1                                 each                           Lemon, juiced
½                               cup                            Parsley Leaves, chopped
Olive Oil

2                                 ea                              Egg Yolks
1                                 Tbsp                          Mustard
¼                               cup                            Cold Water
2                                 Tbsp                         Sherry Vinegar
2                                 Tbsp                         Pimenton (Spanish Paprika; sweet or hot, depending on your taste)
1                                 small                         Garlic Clove, minced
2                                 cups                         Canola Oil
¼                                 cup                          Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

1                                   ea                              Baguette, sliced on the bias into ½ in thick slices
1                                   ea                              Garlic Clove, peeled
Extra Virgin Olive Oil



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scrub the clams well under cold running water, discarding any that are broken or not fully closed. Place the clams in a large bowl, sprinkle with the cornmeal, and cover with cold water. Let the clams sit for about twenty to thirty minutes to purge any sand or grit they may have. When you are ready to use the clams, make sure to remove the clams from the water and not to pour the water off of the clams. Any sand or dirt that has been purged will sink to the bottom of the bowl, if you pour the water off of the clams and leave them in the bowl the sand will stay with them (and end up in your dish).

In the meantime, make the aioli. This will make more than you need, but you can store the rest in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Using either a blender, a food processor, or a mixer, combine the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar, pimenton, garlic, a pinch of salt and the water; mix well to combine. Slowly drizzle in the canola oil, stopping intermittently to make sure all is incorporated before continuing. If the mixture starts to get very thick, you can add a tablespoon or so of cold water to thin it out before continuing. Finish with the olive oil and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Set aside while you cook the clams.

Heat a medium saucepan (one that will fit all the clams) over a medium flame; lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and add in the chorizo. Spread the chorizo out into a single layer and cook until they are browned on one side. Add the onions to the pan, season with a small pinch of salt, and stir to incorporate. Sauté the onions until they just start to soften and turn translucent. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the clams and garlic, and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the sherry and wine over the clams. Place the pan back on the heat and bring the liquid to a boil; add the water to the pan, stir and cover.   Let the clams cook for about 8-10 minutes, shaking the pan and stirring every few minutes to check on their progress.

While the clams are cooking, lay the sliced baguette out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the bread with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toast in the oven until golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and, while the bread is still warm, carefully rub the peeled garlic clove over the toasted baguette slices. Reserve to serve with the finished clams.

Check on the clams; once they have started opening you can remove the lid from the pan- if much of your liquid has evaporated, you can add a bit of water to the pan- you should have a nice amount of broth/sauce to serve with the clams. When all of the clams are open, remove the pan from the heat, add the lemon juice and parsley, stir well and taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary.

To serve, spread a small amount of the aioli on the bottom of 4 bowls, top with the clams and their broth, and garnish with some slices of the toasted baguette. Drizzle the top of the clams with more aioli if desired. Serve immediately.