I love manila clams. They're small and flavorful, and pop open, when steamed, in minutes.
Buy: 1/2 pound per person.
(what follows are ingredients per person/serving)
In a saute pan add a splash of olive oil. Saute a tablespoon of minced shallots until translucent. Add a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of minced jalapenos. Cook a few seconds, until soft. Add half an ounce or so of sliced Spanish chorizo, saute briefly. Into sauce pan splash a bit of white wine about. Once half-evaporated, add a half a cup of broth (fish, chicken or vegetable) and bring to a boil. Toss in your rinsed clams, lower to a simmer, cover and check after three minutes. The clams will be opening right before your eyes. If not, give it another minute or two, but no longer. (And don't pry open the closed ones, they're shut tight for a reason).
Serve in a soup bowl with plenty of the spicy broth, crusty bread and sweet butter.
The kids have flown, the spouse is out of town. Sola, perduta, abbandonata, as the Puccini aria goes.
On the upside, the menu is all my own.
Here's something I made for myself. Full confession: I actually had shrimp stock in the freezer, making it so much more memorable.
In a heavy sauce pan heat a teaspoon or so of vegetable oil. Add a tablespoon of shallots. Stir until transparent, or cook until caramelized a bit. Stir in half a cup of risotto, heat through. Splash with white wine, stir until evaporated. Add salt.
A half a cup of watered down stock at a time, add to sauce pan, stirring over medium heat, until liquid is absorbed. Keep doing this until the rice is done to your desired consistency (cooked through, but not mushy). This may take 15 minutes. At last, stir in a teaspoon of unsalted butter, a scattering of chopped herbs: tarragon, parsley, chives and half a cup of crab (canned, I'm not fussy) stirring until heated through.
A little fume blanc with your meal, and you could be singing like this.