Clams with Bacon, Bourbon and Jalapeños

Submitted by Liz Novak on Fri, 08/09/2013 - 22:56

This was by far, the best of the three clam dishes we made the other night. This dish is not photogenic, and I can understand why this month's issue of Food and Wine didn't include an image with the recipe. But before you judge the image, ask yourself: do you like bacon? Do you like bourbon? Do you like cream? Do you like spice?

It seems like there are too many things going on in this dish, but it was so good that I made it multiple times this week. One of these instances I didn't even use any clams, dipping and devouring an entire Italian loaf by my lonesome.

So here's what you need:
One 3 oz slab of bacon As much bacon as you damn well please
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup bottled clam broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced into rounds
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Crusty bread for serving

And here's what you do:
1, Chop the bacon into 1in slices and cook it in a deep skillet until the fat is rendered and the bacon is brown. Then remove the bacon and set aside, but save the grease!

2. Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet, stirring occasionally until they are softened (about 3 min). Add the clams and bourbon to the skillet and simmer over moderately low heat until the bourbon is almost evaporated. Then add the clams and the clam broth. Cover and cook until the clams open. Discard any unopened clam strugglers.

3. Transfer the clams into bowls. Add the cream, jalapeños, parsley, and the bacon to the skillet and simmer until the cream is slightly thickened (about 2 min). Swirl in the butter. Pour the sauce over the clams. Serve with crusty bread. Good luck not making this again. I mean, you have all that left over cream...

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