I’m not sure when shellfish and seafood began to rock my world. Certainly it wasn’t when my mother would buy a whole bag of clams at the butcher shop when I was a kid and cook them up for my father. They looked like little piles of gelatinous snot in a shell and I wouldn’t touch them, much less stay in the kitchen while my Mom steamed them.

Paella when I first sampled it by my good friend, Nena, born in the Canary Islands and a bona fine Spaniard started moving me toward a greater appreciation for these little…mollusks, and now, as I close in on 60, there are very few culinary items I’m not pleased to eat.

We called our good friends A & B at the drop of a hat to see if they would be interested in dropping by for this nice mix of clams (Manila and Littleneck mix), chorizo, prosciutto, and smoked ham, all cooked for a good solid hour in a base sauce of onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

Alas, having too much fun in The City at a concert.

No extra salt necessary, the flavors came out perfectly and went very well with the Semifreddi’s bread I had in hand from the other day. I admit that while cooking this…Korean Scallion and Shrimp Pancakes that I let the sauce cook a bit too long and so certain pieces of smaller bits of meat had to be trimmed away (cooking had moved past caramelization toward getting burned, alas) but other than old eagle-tongued Angela who detected the merest hint of acridity, the meal was successful, and a keeper.


Fortunately, my Dutch oven served in place of the requisite Cataplana often preferred for this sort of cooking.