Friday, September 8, 2017

Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato with a Vinho Verde #WinePW


I was excited to see Gwendolyn of Wine Predator inviting the Wine Pairing Weekend bloggers to share their pairings with wines from Portugal. Saúde!


You can read her invitation: here. And, if you're reading this early enough, join us for a chat on Twitter on Saturday, September 9th at 8am Pacific time; you can follow the conversation by using hashtag #WinePW.

All the Other #WinePW Posts


Vinho Verde
As for me, I decided to share a Vinho Verde. Here's a primer: Vinho Verde is not a grape variety, it is a wine-producing region in the far northwestern tip of Portugal. The name literally means "green wine," but its implications is more as "young wine." There are Vinho Verdes that aren't green..or even white.

In the early years of Vinho Verde production, the slight effervescence came from the malolactic (secondary) fermentation that took place in the bottle. Then came a trend that added artificial carbonation for that bubbly sensation. Many winemakers are harkening back to the traditional methods now.

I tracked down a 2016 Aveleda Vinho Verde which is a steal, clocking in at less than $10 a bottle! It's a white wine blend in which the floral aromas of the Loureiro grape variety are meshed to harmonious perfection with the tropical notes of the Alvarinho grape. The result: an elegant wine that is slightly effervescent, smooth, and well-balanced. I knew it would pair well with seafood.


Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato
If there's one thing from Portugal that I like more than their wine, it's their seafood dishes. One of our family favorites is Carne de Porco à Alentejana, a dish with pork and clams. But I thought that the smoked paprika might overpower the wine. So I opted for another Portuguese clam dish: Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato. It has a simple, but wonderful buttery, garlic flavor.


Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 pounds live clams in the shell (I used Littlenecks)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 8 T butter
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • juice from 1 organic lemon
  • 1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 organic lemon, quartered
  • sliced baguette, toasted, for serving


Procedure
Scrub the clams under cold running water to remove sand or grit clinging to the shells. Throw out any that are open or those that do not stay closed when squeezed shut. Dry them off with a towel

In a large saucepan, with a lid, over medium heat, melt the butter in the olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Be careful that it doesn't burn.

Add the scrubbed and dried clams to the pan and cover. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally or stirring them with a spoon. If there are any clams that haven't opened, keep cooking for a minute or so. If there are some that just won't open, toss them out.

As soon as all of the clams are open, pour the lemon juice over them and stir to incorporate the lemon juice into the butter-olive oil mixture. Sprinkle in the cilantro and parsley. Add a few grinds of black pepper and stir again.

Spoon into serving bowls and ladle the sauce over the top. Serve with some sliced bread for sopping up the deliciousness left in the bottom of the bowls!

Next Up: #MerlotMe
Next month, the Wine Pairing Weekend crew will be celebrating #MerlotMe with Jeff of FoodWineClick at the helm. Stay tuned for more information about that event.

8 comments:

  1. Oh my....steamers....I love steamers. I have to say I was pretty pleased to discover the wines of Portugal this month.

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  2. This looks good! Nice explanation of Vinho Verde. I'm also going to have to try your pork and clams dish, I have enjoyed that at a restaurant and have been meaning to try to make it.

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  3. The wine sounds like a steal. I've come to love the Loureiro grape for its fragrant floral notes, so I'll see if I can find this one near me. Yummy pairing, too!

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  4. It really is astounding how much of a value Portuguese wine is! Great post.

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  5. I love Vinho Verde! It's such a steal and so refreshing that I tend to want to drink it all summer long. This particular one from Quinta Aveleda is definitely a go to. I will definitely have to try it with this clam dish -- sounds sooo good.

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  6. Also, would love for you to stop by at www.sommstable.com (not NibblingGypsy.com) to check out the octopus recipe :-).

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    Replies
    1. http://www.sommstable.com/2017/09/cooking-to-wine-passagem-douro-reserva.html

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  7. This is something my family would love - my daughter goes nuts for mussels in garlic and white wine and I think the clams would garner some excitement. Have you tried cooking with Vinho Verde?

    What a beautiful wine in the glass - tempting and refreshing. Great post as usual, Camilla. Thanks for sharing!

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