I don't watch much television anymore. It's not that I dislike television, it's just I'm too busy or would rather do a variety of other things than loaf on the couch and watch some tube. However, I do have my indulgences that I MUST watch religiously. I'm mainly talking about Top Chef. Of course it's over now, but you bet your ass when Season 7 comes around, I will MAKE time for this amazing show. I love it mainly because it doesn't have that "reality factor"... you know the fake acting, the predictable dialogue, the just downright tackyness. And I don't mean to offend anyone who is a fan of that type of reality tv... but it's not my cup of tea. But Top Chef always provides entertainment, quick wit, and most of all, they showcase the food. The food is the star and that's why I pay attention! Anyway, my segue way here is that for Christmas this year Andy got me the Top Chef Quickfire Cookbook and I've only made 2 things out of it, a dessert, and this seafood dish. It turned out okay, but I somewhat improvised on it, to account for my amateur cooking skills (in comparison to the Top Chef crew) and so I don't think it turned out quite as well as it could have.
Adapted from Top Chef Quickfire Cookbook - "Brian M.'s Tres Rios"
1 lb. mixed shellfish (I used 10 mussels, 10 clams, and 1/2 lb. rockshrimp)
2 cups chardonnay
2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into thin strips
juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons shallots, diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Pernod (licorice flavored liquor)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a dutch oven on the stove under medium high heat. Add the shellfish mixture, wine, bell peppers, shallots, lemon juice, butter, Pernod, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Cover and steam until the clams and mussels open. About 10 minutes or so. Discard any of the unopened shells.
Serve with crispy baguette slices and jasmine rice.
Like I said, this was an okay dish. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great. It was definitely one of those dishes that smelled completely different than it actually tasted. The Pernod was overpowering when you whiffed the pot, but when you tasted the broth it was delicious and didn't really have an overpowering taste of licorice or liquor. More like a lemony, buttery taste with a hint of possible licorice as an afterthought. And I definitely wouldn't recommend the rock shrimp. My clams were the last to open so the whole mixture was steaming for a long time and the shrimp seemed to get overdone. They were really "rock" shrimp after all was said and done. And if the rock shrimp was used again, I'd probably put it in last minute because they cook so fast. All in all, it's worth a shot and it's quite versatile of a dish. Most of all, it's colorful and take a nice picture, if anything. Enjoy!