Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Leftover Clam Boil Soup

A week or so ago we did a little clam boil with friends. I layered corn on the cob, sliced kielbasa, with live clams and mussels. I added a little white wine and a little water, and then cooked it until the all the shells popped open*. We made a grand old mess while we enjoyed the feast.

But the best part was the next day.

I started with a simple roux - 1/2 a stick of butter went into the pan with about 1/4 cup of flour. I stirred this frequently over medium heat until it was a toasted-nut scented paste.

To this I added seafood bisque concentrate, and then about 8 cups of water but if I didn't have that on hand I would have used low sodium chicken broth. I added about a tablespoon of half-sharp paprika as well.

I cut the kernels off the leftover corn cobs, chopped the kielbasa into smaller pieces, and picked all the remaining clam and mussels from their shells. My sister arrived while I was making the soup, so I opened a can of clams from my pantry and added them as well (along with the juice from the can).

I have to say it turned out pretty tasty!

* overly paranoid safety warning here. If this is shellfish 101 for you, here's how to prep clams and/or mussels for cooking:
  1. When purchasing live clams (littlenecks are scrumptious!) or mussels, make sure they smell mostly like sea water ... if they reek of fishiness, pick something else for dinner.
  2. Sort through the live mollusks, and THROW AWAY ANY THAT ARE OPEN AND do not close when tapped. These are already dead. You don't want to eat shellfish that isn't cooked immediately upon death. (those of you who eat raw oysters .... you're brave.)
  3. Place the shells in a large pot and cover with water. Leave them alone for about half an hour, and then change the water. If the second change yields a good bit of sand at the bottom of the pot, you might want to change the water a third time. Remember - these are living creatures, and they are processing the water and expelling sand for you!
  4. Steam or grill the clams and mussels until they open. IF ANY DO NOT OPEN, DO NOT EAT THEM.
  5. Enjoy!

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