Thursday, February 28, 2008

Weeknight Linguine with Clams

I had to make dinner for my girls the other night and pasta seems to be always on their menu. I get a little tired of the tomato sauce and cheese version so I had the idea of using clams in mine. I cooked a pot of linguine and added tomato sauce for them, for me I sauteed sliced garlic with chili flakes in extra virgin olive oil, when the garlic turned golden I put a can of chopped sea clams in. Yes I know fresh clams would be better, but its a weeknight and I am not going to buy only a pound of clams from my fish guys in San Francisco, so canned it is. I tossed the pasta with the sauce and fresh chopped parsley from the garden. For added flavor and texture I added toasted bread crumbs at the end. It was really good and I will have to do a fresh clam version soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Banana leaf wrapped Pork Tamales

I had a package of banana leafs in the freezer waiting to be used for something, so making tamales sounded like a good idea. Frozen banana leafs are easy to find in well stocked Asian or Latin markets, I am sure if you are in the Southern States are Hawaii, fresh ones on the tree are a option. I bought a big chunk of pork butt which I seasoned and seared, then a long braise till the meat was very tender and easy to shred, I made a form of red chili sauce from dried chili peppers and tomatoes. Next was the dough made from a easy "just add water" masa flour, the real dough is a lot better then the instint but I did not want to spend all day making these. Next step was thawing the leafs and cutting into six inch squares which a held over a gas stove flame for a few seconds to soften them, I place a scoop of dough and then some pork on top, fold into a square package and place in a steamer basket. When steamer is filled, simply steam for half an hour and they are ready for your hot sauce to finish.