Steamers in Ham Broth
Well hello Kosher readers! While I love the insightful comments you’ve been sending in about my Jewish dishes, I’m not sure this recipe is for you and perhaps you should come back next week for a recipe you might like better.
Pork and shellfish can range from good (bacon wrapped scallops at an office party) to great (Portuguese Clam Stew with Tomato and linguiça) to exquisite (Spanish Paella with Clams and Chorizo). But whatever the specifics of the dish, there is something exciting about the brininess of shellfish with some rich pork mixed in.
I don’t keep Kosher although my grandmother taught Kosher cooking at one point and many of my friends keep Kosher now. Growing up, we never ate Christmas or Easter hams even though I always knew they were tasty. Now I have no problem serving pork in my home, provided it comes from a local, small operation with extraordinarily high animal welfare standards. I think Tamarack Hollow fits the bill and they make a ham that is simply life changing for most of my guests who have tried it. But for some reason, I don’t serve ham all that often and when I do, I rarely save the bones. But the bones themselves are so full of flavor and nutrients that it would be wrong for a true Home Cook Locavore to pitch something that could so easily be used to make another meal. But what really inspired this dish, were the glistening steamer clams from Pura Vida out of Long Island. These clams rivaled those from Northern New England and begged to steamed and eaten. So 2 dozen steamers were on their way home and a ham bone sat in a bowl in the fridge along with some old carrots and an onion or two. While not the usual method of bringing shellfish and pork together, why not make a ham broth and then steam the clams in it making an even brinier and more delicious broth to serve with the clams? A squeeze of lime and a sprig of cilantro brightens up the dish and gives it an almost palate cleansing quality after each bite.
I noticed some great looking Kosher short ribs at the market this week and I’m looking forward to trying some new recipes. For now though, it’s time for pork, shellfish, and some very nice weather.
Steamers w/ Ham Broth (Farmers Market Bill $16/2 Large Servings = $8/serving)
For the ham broth:
Place a bone from a large ham in a stock pot
Add 2 carrots, 2 onions and whatever other veggies you have around along with 2 bay leaves
Cover bone and vegetables with water
Simmer for 2-3 hours, skimming every hour or so
Strain and taste stock adding pepper and possibly some salt (the ham bone adds some salt already and the steamers will be briny as well so go easy!)
Add 2 cups of ham stock to large skillet and bring to boil over high heat
Scrub 2 dozen local steamers and place in pan with ham stock
Cover and steam for 5 minutes or so or until all steamers have opened
Spoon a dozen clams into each of 2 serving bowls and pour remaining broth over steamers
Drizzle the juice of half a lime into bowls and garnish with a couple sprigs of farmers market cilantro