Clams with Chilis and Basil

25 Sep

Clams with basil and chilis

The weather has been so strange in New York for the past few weeks.  In the morning, it feels like fall.  By the afternoon, I am sweating and wishing I was in an air-conditioned room.  The other day I saw a lonely, little red maple leaf on our walkway and I thought, “could this be the beginning of boot season and pumpkin spice lattes?”  Then later that day it was 80 degrees, so I guess not.  I am a rebel though and wore boots and bought a pumpkin spice latte yesterday.  And both made me start sweating almost immediately.  Bad idea.  But you know what was a good idea?  Deciding to keep on grilling.

We received this great wok for our wedding a few years ago, but have only used it a handful of times due to our old oven having coil burners and our new house with its flat cooktop (woks work best over a direct flame).  So when Chris said he wanted to try to use the wok on our grill, I thought it was a brilliant idea.  Also a brilliant idea from him?  Marrying me.  And both brilliant ideas turned out fabulously (if I do say so myself).

Clams with Chilis and Basil

2 dozen clams

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 chili pepper of your choice (we used red jalapeno), thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 Tablespoon thai chili paste

1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped

Scrub the clams and soak in cold water for 30 minutes, drain and rinse

Heat a wok or large saucepan over high heat on the grill* or on the stovetop

Add clams, oil, garlic and chili pepper; stir clams and cover and cook until all are opened, about five minutes

Wok on grill

clams with chilis

Add remaining ingredients, except for the basil; stir and cook for an additional two minutes

Discard any unopened clams and finish with the basil

DSC_0925 (640x427)

*We were able to use the wok on the grill by removing our center grill plate (we have three plates).  Since we have an electric stove, this allowed us to have a direct flame on the bottom of the wok, which is ideal.

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