Even through spring is showing itself every so often, I’m impatient for warmer weather. Dreams of the Yucatan are swirling around in my head and I wanted to pretend.
Depending on how many peppers you use, and if you remove the seeds and membranes, you can make this dish as spicy or as mild as you want. I used 2 of each type of pepper and removed the seeds*, so it didn’t have the amount of heat I would have liked, though it was absolutely delicious. Something magical happens when you cook chorizo sausage in butter and tequila.
3 dozen Little neck clams
1.5 sticks butter
1/2 cup good tequila (I used Patron Anejo)
2 large jalapeno peppers
2 poblano peppers
1 red onion
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds chorizo sausage
Small handful of cilantro leaves
salt & pepper
Soak your clams in tepid water for at least an hour, changing the water one or two times to get rid of any grit.
Remove the chorizo from any casing and place it in a deep fry-pan with 1/2 stick of the butter.
Chop the onion and peppers into a small dice.*
Heat the sausage and butter on medium heat until the chorizo is cooked through.
Add the garlic, onion and peppers. Add the juice from two limes, the tequila and the rest of the butter.
When the mixture is hot all the way through, press the cleaned clams into the liquid and cover. A clear lid works best here if you have one.
Littlenecks don’t take long to open, they’re so small. But they still vary a lot in opening time. Some opened at 2 minutes, some opened at 12 minutes, so just keep a careful watch. Remove the opened clams with tongs, letting the unopened ones cook further.
Taste the broth and salt/pepper to your taste.
Sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top of the clams.
I served this family style - big bowl in the middle of the table and a big serving spoon. You’ll also want a nice baguette, some good bread or rice to go with this dish because the broth is the best part of it.
And what better drink to serve with it but a nice quick shot of the Anejo that’s in the broth - a little salt, a little lime and a big poster of a beach in Isla Mujeres is all you need.