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Cod, Clams, and Chorizo Basquaise



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Cod, Clams and Chorizo Basquaise

Daniel Boulud's
Cafe Boulud Cookbook:
French-American Recipes
for the Home Cook

By Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan, 1999, Scribner

Les Saveurs de Daniel Boulud

“This dish stakes no claim to authenticity, but it does play up to advantage the typically Basque practice of pairing seafood with spicy meat, in this case chorizo,
the Spanish smoked pork sausage. The chorizo is cooked with a mix of peppers
and onions known throughout Spain and the Pays Basque as a piperade. Often
used as a filling for omelets, a garnish for soups, or a flavor booster for stews,
the piperade here forms a savory cushion for the cod and clams and makes a
lively mate for the light wine and herb pan sauce. This dish is as tempting as
it is simple to make – the fish cooks while the piperade simmers. Remember
this dish on weeknights: In addition to its intriguing flavors and eye-catching appeal, it’s got time on its side – you can have a remarkably good dinner on
the table in forty-five minutes flat.”

The piperade:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound chorizo, cut lengthwise in half and
then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 medium onion, peeled, trimmed, and cut
lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, deveined,
and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, deveined,
and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
4 plum tomatoes, peeled, cut into
4 wedges each, and seeded
2 cloves garlic, peeled, split, germ
removed, and finely diced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or skillet (choose one that has a cover)
over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes,
or until the sausage is evenly browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chorizo to a plate for the moment. Add the onion and peppers to the pan
and cook, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the
onion turns translucent and the vegetables soften but do not color, 10 to
12 minutes. Return the chorizo to the pan along with the tomatoes, garlic,
and red pepper flakes. Season the piperade with salt and pepper, lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about 10 minutes more while you
cook the fish. (The piperade can be made up to a day ahead, cooled, and
kept covered in the refrigerator. Reheat it gently while you cook the cod
and clams.)

The cod and clams:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Four 6-ounce cod fillets, skin on
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Flour for dredging
16 Manila or littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 sprig thyme
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 sprigs Italian parsley, leaves only
1/4 cup dry white wine

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet (this pan needs to have a cover too) over medium-high heat. Season the cod fillets
with salt and pepper and dust the skin side with flour. When the oil is hot,
slip the cod, skin side down, into the pan. Cook the fish for 4 minutes
before flipping it over. Add the clams, thyme, garlic, parsley, and white
wine, arranging the ingredients around the fillets. Cover the pan, lower
the heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the clams open. (If
the clams haven’t opened after 5 minutes, remove the fish and continue
to cook until they do open.)
2. Pull the pan from the heat, spoon out and discard the thyme and garlic,
and transfer the cod and clams to a plate; keep in a warm place. Strain
the pan juices into the container of a blender and whir to blend. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and blend again to emulsify the sauce.

To serve:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Divide the piperade among four warm dinner or shallow soup plates.
Top each serving with a fillet of cod and surround with 4 clams. Spoon
the sauce over the clams and drizzle some of the olive oil over each
fillet. Serve immediately.

To drink: A fragrant Condrieu, a white wine from
the Rhône region of France

Featured Archive Recipe:
Patricia Wells' Seared Pancetta-Wrapped Cod

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