We're cooking A Persimmon mini clambake with native steamerclams, grilled sweet corn, chorizo, potatoes, onions and apple woodsmoke chips. Champe Speidel of Persimmon will be appearing atthe Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, September 25-27.Visit www.NewportMansions.org for more information.
12 native steamer clams, rinsed and soaked for 24 hours
2 fingerling potatoes
8 pearl onions, peeled
2 ears of corn
1 link chorizo (full fat if possible, peeled and cut in half,lengthwise)
4 fresh bay leaves
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp minced chives
1 tbsp minced Italian parsley
5 small apple wood chips
For the clams:
In a two-quart sauce pot place the apple wood chips and setover a low flame until they begin to smoke.
Using a common sieve (roughly the same size as the sauce pot)add the steamer clams and cover the sieve (and clams) with aluminumfoil.
Place the foil-wrapped sieve over the smoking pot and let thesteamer clams smoke for at least five minutes.
Remove the clams from the sieve, shuck them from their shellsand reserve the liquid left at the bottom of the pot.
Discard the remaining apple wood chips.
Boil the potatoes in salted water until they are tender,drain and cut into coin-shaped slices.
Cook the pearl onions in one-half cup of water, one teaspoonof sugar, one bay leaf and one teaspoon of salt.
Allow the water to evaporate and glaze the onions, but takecare not to burn or color them.
The onions are cooked when they can be pierced with the tipof a knife with little resistance.
Use one tablespoon of butter to butter the corn cobs.
Season with salt, and using an outdoor grill or grill pan,grill the corn until it is cooked through.
Remove corn from the cob and set aside.
Discard the cob.
Using the same grill, grill the chorizo to achieve grillmarks and a smoky flavor, cut into small pieces and set aside. (Donot worry about cooking the chorizo through because it is alreadycooked, you are only re-heating it.)
In a one-quart sauce pan combine all the shucked clams, corn,potatoes, chorizo and glazed onions.
Season with salt and add the smoked clam broth.
Bring everything to a boil, remove from the heat and whisk inthe butter, chives and parsley.
Divide into four warm bowls and serve immediately.