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Shellfish with Thai Red Curry Broth*

Steamed shellfish is always a great way to make a quick dinner.  It’s been a crazy week, and I knew this Foodie Family would need a speedy supper tonight.  I modified this recipe by Bobby Flay for my dish and it was very tasty.  I usually make mussels with white wine and garlic, but I was in the mood for something a little spicy tonight so I decided to use Thai flavors in the broth.  I forgot to take a finish of the finished product, but the mise en place was beautiful, and the entire dish PLUS homemade chocolate chip cookies was ready in less than 30 minutes.  Winner, winner shellfish dinner!

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons ginger, minced or finely chopped (I grated mine on a microplane)
1 stalk lemongrass, crushed
1 tablespoon chili paste (be careful…add a little at a time)
1/2 cup white wine
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth (optional)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
2 fresh limes
.75 pounds cockles, scrubbed
1.5 pounds littleneck clams
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro stems, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 tablespoons chopped Thai basil or Italian basil leaves

Directions

Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven on the grates until shimmering.  Add the ginger and stir until fragrant.  Add the lemongrass, chili paste, wine, chicken broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, and lime juice and bring to a simmer, whisking. Add the clams, cover the pot, and let steam 2-3 minutes.  Add cockles, and steam an additional 1-2 minutes until the shells open. During the last minute of cooking, add the cilantro and basil. Serve from Dutch oven into individual bowls, discarding the lemongrass.  
 
Serve with crusty bread and a delicious wine (I recommend Riesling or Zinfandel with this dish)
 
*This dish was originally titled “Clams and Cockles in Thai Red Curry Broth” but Food-C was worried it might entice people looking for a different kind of website…