Tag Archives: Lunch

Portuguese Style Clam Chowder

10 Jul

As you may recall, Joe and I went clamming while we were down at the Cape for 4th of July weekend. So, with over 5 dozen clams, one wonders, what to do with all of those CLAMS?!?!

Clams are obviously delicious when they are steamed. Here are a few suggestions on steaming clams.

1. Before steaming your clams, make sure you wash them thoroughly to dislodge any muck or dirt or sand. You may have to change the water a few times. Use a sponge or a brush to get the caked on stuff off.

2. If you are planning on cooking the clams the same day you buy them or collect them, keeping them in fresh water is ok. If you aren’t planning on using them the same day, then make sure you use a salt water solution so they keep fresh.

3. Discard any open clams. Gross.

4. You can steam clams 2 different ways; in the water and above the water. For this particular time we had a gigantic lobster pot with a steamer on top, so we went with above the water.

5. Fill the bottom pot with water and then place the steamer on top. You can place the clams up so you can see when they open, or you can just throw them in there and let them do their thing.

6. Let the water come to a boil before adding the clams. The first time around I let the clams sit above the water before it came to a boil. Nothing wrong with that, but it just took longer.

6. Once the water is boiling, the clams take about 10 minutes or so to open. Make sure they are open fairly wide before taking them out. We had a couple really big clams that only opened partially and we chucked them just to be on the safe side.

7. Once the clams are open, immediately take them out of the steamer. You don’t want to overcook them! Keep adding new clams to the steamer and check them periodically. It was slow goings for a while for me, but after the first batch was done, it went by really fast.

8. Let the clams cool a bit before attempting to shell them. I ended up tearing out most of them with my hands, but you can use a knife as well.

9. DON’T THROW AWAY THE JUICE THAT’S LEFT BEHIND!!!! It’s delicious, and can be used when you make your clam chowder 🙂

I seriously wished I had taken a picture of all the shelled clams, but I was basically a machine at that point, hah.

I love creamy clam chowder. I refuse to count Manhattan Clam Chowder as chowder. It’s soup, and it doesn’t hold a candle next to New England style Clam Chowder. I infused some of my Portuguese roots by adding paprika and some linguica to the pot. Everyone gulped it up, included Joe’s grandfather who ate THREE BOWLS. If that’s not a resounding seal of approval then I don’t know what is.

I little side note: I like to add A LOT of clams to my chowder. It is CLAM chowder after all. There are a lot of places that make their clam chowder and there is hardly any clams, just a lot of potatoes. Bah. So please, do load up on the clams, like I’ve done here. ENJOY!

Portuguese Style Clam Chowder

Adapted from Cooking for Engineers

  • 2-3 cups chopped steamed clams, shells removed (or more, if you are a clam fiend)
  • 2lbs russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 slices fatty hickory smoked bacon
  • 10-15oz clam juice
  • 1.25 cups whole milk
  • 1.25 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 4 links of cooked linguica, chopped
Heat a pot on medium high and add the bacon. Cook the bacon until crispy and remove the bacon but keep the grease. Add the chopped onions and stir until coated and then cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir until the potatoes are covered with the fat then add the flour and mix.
Add the clam juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are softened.
Add the clams, milk and cream and stir to combine. Add the paprika and linguica and add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through, about an additional 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Fly Away to San Francisco Part 3

9 Mar

After our lunch at Boudin Bakery we decided to head up to Coit Tower.

But first we had to climb a lot of stairs.

I mean, A LOT of stairs. And people LIVE off of those stairs. I mean, #1, I would LOVE to live there, but I just have to say, how the hell did they MOVE?!?!

But I digress….

When we got to Coit Tower, before getting onto the elevator to the top I noticed a ton of murals on the walls.

Hubby explained to me that the murals were part of the Public Works of Art Project that were commissioned during the Great Depression. Basically, unemployed artists were hired to create these murals. They surround the entire bottom floor of Coit Tower and they were amazing to look at.

After taking the elevator up to the top of Coit Tower, we got a 360 degree view of San Francisco. I have to admit though, I was kind of enthralled by all the change on the outside of the windows.

I noticed that there were a lot of Guatemalan coins, which I thought was amusing. But you don’t want to see pictures of coins now do you?

After all that climbing we decided to head back to M&K’s apartment. We had an early dinner because we were heading to see Avenue Q at the Opera House. By the way, if you haven’t seen Avenue Q, YOU NEED TO SEE IT RIGHT NOW. If you tend to be inappropriate on a daily basis (like I am) then this is right up your alley.

For dinner we decided to stay in the neighborhood and go to Piccino. Piccino is a lovely and small classic Italian pizzeria that feels like a coffee shop. Maybe because when they aren’t a pizzeria they are actually a coffee shop. Huh.

They served their water in a milk bottle and I just couldn’t get over how cute it was.

Depending on where you were sitting in the tiny restaurant you could practically see everything. Since they are mainly a pizzeria the pizza oven dominated. I also noticed that they had a single induction burner which I thought was cool.

We weren’t very hungry so we went with a shared pizza. We got a classic Margherita pizza which was tomato sauce, mozzarella and dried oregano. What seemed to set Piccino apart based on all the reviews I had read is that you have the option of adding egg to your pizza.

Runny, yolky, perfectly soft EGG on pizza. I would like to hug the person that thought of this idea because it totally MADE the pizza. I thought the pizza was great, but there was a little too much tomato sauce and not enough mozzarella. I was also disappointed that there was no basil on the pizza. Other than that, the dough was chewy and crisp and wonderful.

For dessert we shared the special blood orange upside down cake with homemade vanilla bean whipped cream. This.Was.Amazing. The blood orange was sweet, the cake was extremely moist, and the whipped cream tasted like vanilla air. I wanted to eat 3 of these.

Because I wanted to stay awake for the show I ordered some of their coffee which is brewed by Blue Bottle Coffee Company in San Francisco. Coffee is considered the nectar of the gods on the West Coast. I could go on a tangent about how Boston is lacking in great coffee houses but I won’t. Just know that this coffee was some of the best coffee I had ever had.

Piccino is definitely worth the stop if you are in the neighborhood. And whatever you do, ALWAYS order your pizza with an egg.


Piccino on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Cheeseboy

20 Jan

UPDATE: So I had NO idea when I wrote this that today is National Cheese Day! So it is quite fitting that I decided to write about CHEESE. Have a Happy National Cheese Day and make sure to get in your serving of CHEESE!

I believe truer words have never been said. Just add bacon to that equation and I’m a happy camper.

Cheeseboy opened up in South Station October 2010 and when I saw the huge poster with grilled cheese on it, well, I knew I was going to have a problem.

I would just like to point out that this place gets BUSY. Like, busy from 11:30-2PM there is always a line. People appreciate a good grilled cheese sandwich.

A few of my coworkers didn’t understand the appeal of Cheeseboy. They thought it was too much money for something you can make at home. Yes, you are correct, I said, you can make them at home. But you CAN’T make them at work. That’s the whole point!! ::sigh:: Some people just don’t get it

The menu at Cheeseboy is pretty simple. You can go for a classic, a healthy version, or anything in between. You can add meat, veggies, even change up the cheese. And they have tomato soup. Because what’s grilled cheese without tomato soup?

After they make your grill cheese they pack them in a cute little to-go box. It’s like a mini pizza box. Whenever I go I always get the combo, which includes a sandwich, small soup and a small drink. I love the classic sandwich, and I usually add bacon and tomato to it, because that’s just how I roll.

This time around I actually did order my sandwich with bacon but they forgot to add it. It’s ok, they didn’t charge me extra. The presses that they use create the perfect sandwich. Crispy on the outside, gooey and melty on the inside. It’s pretty remarkable.

Add to that the tomato soup? Foggetaboutit. I like to dunk my sandwich into the soup and leave it there for about 30 seconds so it can sop up all the deliciousness of the soup.

All in all a lunch like this costs roughly $6.00, a little more if you add more stuff to your sandwich. This is easily the best eatery in all of South Station and obviously the hoards of people that wait in line agree. Why go to McDonalds for rubbery questionable meat when you can have a delicious and FRESH grilled cheese sandwich? That’s what I thought.

Cheeseboy on Urbanspoon

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