Flounder with Chorizo and Clams

Posted by    |  April 12, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

This dish is a great example of the sophisticated flavor you can get from using high-quality ingredients in simple ways. To be sure, this recipe isn’t even as simple as it could be, but with just five ingredients, you will really enjoy the range of flavors, textures, and aromas it produces.

I can hear voices in my head laughing at the idea that kids would eat clams.  You might be surprised what can happen if you introduce new foods with a sense of wonder and excitement.  Show them the clams before cooking them.  Talk about the fact that they are alive.  Let them watch you put them into the pan, cover them with cooking liquid and then see the magic that happens as they open up.  It’s actually pretty cool.

3-4 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Four fillets gulf flounder
3 stalks green garlic, sliced (or 3-4 cloves garlic, minced)
¼ lb. Spanish or Portugese chorizo, diced into ¼” pieces Mexican chorizo is more crumbly and fatty.  Spanish/Portugese chorizo uses more paprika and is cured, so that it has a denser, more cohesive texture.
16 Manila clams
1/3 cup white wine, stock or water


Cook the fish

  1. Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the olive oil to a sauté pan over medium heat.  Allow the oil to warm until shimmering but not smoking.
  3. Add the fillets to the pan (they should sizzle when they hit the pan).  Cook for about 3 minutes on the first side and about 1 minute on the second.
  4. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside, covered with aluminum foil to retain heat.

Cook the chorizo and clams

  1. Add the garlic and chorizo and sauté until both are fragrant and softened, 60-90 seconds.
  2. Add the clams and wine, stock or water.  Cover the pan and cook for about five minutes- until clams have steamed open.

Finish the dish

  1. Return the fish to the pan, recover and allow fish to rewarm- about 2 minutes.

Off Script…
Freshly chopped parsley would finish this dish beautifully.

If you can’t find Manila clams, you can use mussels (the smaller the better), or high-quality canned clams–look for Spanish brands, as the Spanish really revere their pantry staples.

The dish can be made with any thin, mild flavored white fish fillets, such as halibut, trout, striped bass, or branzino.

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