Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Clams & Clapton

Darn it. Every time I have Dalmatians for breakfast, I break out in hives!

I'm sure glad I have Lolcats to draw on because I can't think of a thing I did today that needed to be photographed for posterity. Some days are like that.

Not that I wasn't busy. And I'm not done yet. Shucky-darn. To make it all move along easier, I've been running assorted CDs through the stereo. Roy Orbison is serenading me at the moment with his cover of Blue Bayou. Linda Ronstadt made the Big Bucks with it but ol' Roy, along with a fellow named Joe Melson, wrote it. Here's an interesting piece of trivia for you . . . according to the Wikipedia entry: Because of this song, Dickson's Baseball Dictionary records that a "Linda Ronstadt" is a synonym for a fastball, a pitch that "blew by you."

The biggity-big thang I did today was process some of the horseneck clams Patti and Roger shared with me awhile back. They were cleaned and frozen but whole. Had to be peeled and minced before use. So I thawed them out and peeled until I was cross-eyed. Then I decided I'd cook them before the slice-and-dice phase of the operation. That's when I got a flash of inspiration. (Braced yourself, Wendy, I'm proselytizing again.) Clams are among the sorts of seafood that get tough if you cook them too much. But I wondered what would happen if I ran them through the pressure cooker.

It took some serious searching because most recipes were for chowder and had you putting in the minced clams after the pressure cooking part was done. I think all those recipes were referring mostly to the canned minced clams you buy in the store. Finally I found a source that suggested cooking them for 5 minutes, then letting the pressure fall off slowly. Well, I wasn't going to find out if I didn't try it, right?

Tossed the horsenecks in the steamer basket and set them in about 3 cups of water, sprinkled them generously with Chef Paul Prudhomme's seafood seasoning and locked the lid down tight. When they were done, I raised the basket out and let them drain and cool. As soon as I could handle them, they got a turn in the chopper until they were minced up nice and neat. Then I crossed my fingers and popped some of the mince in my mouth to see if I'd managed to keep them tender.

Oh yeah. Perfect! And right tasty, too, thank you, Chef Prudhomme. So I was able to divide them up between two pint-sized freezer bags and pop them the freezer for later attention. I dunno -- something like linguini with clam sauce? What do you think?

And now I think I'd best pour myself another mug of the sacred liquid and see if I can finish up my To Do list for the day. I do believe I'll have my main man, Eric Clapton, keeping me company the rest of the evening. That'll make me happy as a clam. Hmmmm . . . have you ever wondered about the person who thunk up that particular cliche? I mean, have you ever seen a clam grinning? Or even chuckling? No, I didn't think so.


Wendy said...

S'all right, Dee. If I'm thinking about getting one of the things, it's great to know all the many ways it has to justify its existence.

Dee said...

Good point, Wendy. I can honestly say I'm appreciating the little beast more all the time. It's just a matter of me learning what all it can do. Fortunately, it waits patiently as I bumble along.

Bonnie said...

with all your googling did you look up happy as a clam? :-)

bonnie said...


~ Sil in Corea said...

In Maine, we say "happy as a clam at high water," meaning "happy as a clam at high tide." This is the time when all the clam-food come washing in, and all the clamdiggers head for higher ground. We assume the clams are happy about these events. ;-)
Hugs from near Incheon, where they get 11-foot tides, and the clams are very happy, ~ Sil