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      RECIPE TITLE "Wood-Roasted Clams with Saffron, Tomato, Garlic, and Grilled Bread" Author: Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest

    ... more great recipes by Chef Cory Schreiber on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yieldsserves 6 time---difficulty moderate

    Cooking over a wood fire frees You from the complexities of the kitchen, with all of its gadgets and devices, and inspires simplicity, allowing you to focus on the natural flavors of the food. In experimenting with open-hearth cooking, whether indoors or outside, remember that temperature and timing are crucial. Plan to burn the wood for 1 to 2 hours beforehand to ensure a hot bed of coals. Alder, cherry, apple, and fir are common woods used in the Pacific Northwest. When the fire is ready, set a metal grate strong enough to support a large pot or skillet in place 8 to 12 inches above the coals. The grate also acts as an excellent grill for large cut pieces of vegetables such as peppers, onions, corn, or squash.

    One of my favorite recipes for clams includes saffron, garlic, and tomatoes. Although this recipe is prepared in the wood-burning brick oven at the restaurant, a conventional outdoor grill works well, with wood chips added to the coals. The juice from the clams mixes with the oil and vinegar, creating a rich-flavored broth that is an excellent dipping sauce for a crusty piece of bread. Mussels also work well in this recipe. Use the same amount, but reduce the cooking time to 3 to 4 minutes.

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS


    SAFFRON VINAIGRETTE

    • ½ cup Chardonnay vinegar or other white wine vinegar
    • 6 to 7 saffron threads
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 pounds littleneck clams in their shells, scrubbed
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, or ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
    • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • Four ½-inch-thick slices hard-crusted country bread, toasted and rubbed with garlic, for serving

      RECIPE METHOD

    To make the vinaigrette: In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegar and saffron threads. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool. Whisk in the oils, salt, and pepper; set aside.

    To make the clams: Using mesquite or other wood chips, prepare a very hot grill. (The temperature should be at 600° to 700°, very hot for a quick cooking time.) For added smoky flavor, cover the grill. Put the clams in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet. Add the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic. Pour the vinaigrette over the clams and vegetables. Cover the skillet, place on the grill, and cover the grill. Cook the clams for 5 to 6 minutes. Uncover the grill and skillet and continue to cook the clams until they open, transferring them as they do to a covered container to keep warm. Discard any clams that do not open during the cooking process. Add the lemon juice to the vinaigrette and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the parsley.

    Divide the clams among 4 bowls and pour the hot vinaigrette over them. Serve with the toasted bread.



    HOT! We recommend:

    Wildwood
    Wildwood
    Chef Cory Schreiber opened the Wildwood restaurant in Portland five years ago and has rapidly become a leading figure in the region's bustling culinary scene. Schreiber won the James Beard Award in 1998 for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest-a fitting tribute to a man who cherishes the land, its peoples and its produce in much the same way as Beard, a native Oregonian himself, did. Schreiber emphasizes organic produce prepared in ways that allow the natural beauty and flavors of the ingredients to shine forth, unobstructed by fussy embellishments. It is complex cuisine to be sure, but one grounded in a hearty, rustic sensibility. With its lavish food and landscape photography, inspired recipes and passionate personal narrative, this book presents the dishes that have earned Mr. Schreiber national acclaim and offers a window into the source of his creativity.

     

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