In Drink, Food on August 24, 2010 at 8:51 am
Over Bastille Day, my sister, Claire, was in France for the wedding of her oldest and dearest friend. The party started in Paris and then moved to the groom’s family’s chateau on the water in Normandy. While in Paris, my sister struck up a friendship with the owner of a wine shop in the Marais. She asked him for a recommendation that would go with her favorite pasta dish—Clams in Spicy Pernod Sauce with Linguine, Mr. Foodinista’s specialty—and one that we couldn’t find in the states. His answer was a 2008 Domaine des Anges Côtes du Ventoux ‘L’Archange.’ It’s a rich, honeyed Rousanne balanced by crisp notes of lime and lovely nutty flavors. Once back on US soil, Mr. Foodinista obliged with the clams…
And Claire’s ami at the wine shop was right. The richness of the wine was nothing short of heavenly with the spice of the red pepper flakes and Pernod in the sauce. Good to the last drop. Who’s going to Paris and can sneak a bottle back?
In Food, Out of Town on December 28, 2009 at 9:34 pm
Yesterday morning my sister and I ran 8 hilly miles through the misty vineyards and woods in St. Helena. We were hellbent on undoing any good we might have achieved, and so hightailed it to Hog Island Oyster Co at the Oxbow Market in Napa for lunch. The dozen oysters—Hog Island sweetwaters—would have been virtuous enough had we stopped there. But we didn’t. Instead we piled on with a pint each of Lagunitas IPA and steaming bowls of clam chowder, which consisted of Manila clams, bacon, potatoes, carrots and celery in cream. Mr. Foodinista, who did not run 8 miles, must have been experiencing fondue withdrawal from the other night. He opted for a grilled cheese sandwich featuring Cowgirl Creamery Gruyère and Fromage Blanc with housemade pickles. I may have indulged in (read: demanded) a gooey delicious bite…
In Drink, Food on February 20, 2009 at 5:40 pm
The Foodinista is not the only cook in the kitchen, and in fact one of the most requested dishes by friends and family is my husband’s riff on Clams in Spicy Pernod Sauce. In yesteryears, he made his own pasta—but that endeavor has been placed on the back burner as it were since Tiny G arrived on the scene last summer. Still, the dish is fantastic with fresh fettuccine or linguine picked up from Cube on La Brea, or from the refrigerated section at Whole Foods. If at all possible, take a trip to Santa Monica Seafood for the freshest clams.
The recipe calls for Pernod, but we use whatever pastis happens to be in the fridge, which at the moment in Ricard. (Pastis is a French anise-flavored liqueur; both Pernod and Ricard fall into the pastis category.) After you toss some fennel seed in with the clams and brown for a minute or two, you simply add chopped roma tomatoes, minced garlic, and scallions, cooking for a few minutes. Then add white wine, water, pastis, red pepper flakes, and steam for 7-10 minutes, until clams open. I love watching him make this:
We usually drink Bandol rosé with this dish, but when we served this to my parents and sister who were visiting last week, my dad and I were in the mood for Chablis, while my mom and sister were eyeing the Pinot Noir. So we opened both: 2007 Louis Latour La Chanfleur Chablis (an outstanding wine at $17), and 2006 Etude Temblor Carneros Pinot Noir ($60 – a worthy splurge).