Portuguese-Style Stew

I hope you haven't given up on A Couple in the Kitchen. Life got weird for a few weeks and Chris and I have been existing (subsisting?) on restaurant food, take-out, delivery, and heat-n-eats. Not a good foodie scene whatsoever, but we're resolved to head back to the kitchen as the days grow longer and warmer, and farmer's markets begin to sell their wares.

We hit up new Hartford hotspot,
Barca, for a much needed after-school happy hour last week, because their tapas are cheap and to die for. At 2 for $5, I can have my spicy chicken (sauteed in a garlic white wine sauce) and Chris can have his crispy fish (specifically, codfish potato cakes with cilantro aioli). These were accompanied nicely by well-made caipirinhas (like a margarita but better). As for their bread - one bite and I was hooked, begging the bartender to sell me a loaf or two on which I planned to base some sort of dinner for the following day. Warm and crusty on the outside, so light it melts in your mouth on the inside, Chris, who had been to Barca before, simply said, "Told you so," as I drooled over the two small slices that came with our tapas. It reminded me of the super-fresh Portuguese rolls my mom used to buy in Ludlow, MA.

As I always seem to be planning my next meal, the idea for a Portuguese-style dinner started brewing in my head and luckily, the bartender assisted, handing over two small, neatly wrapped loaves with warming instructions as we paid our check. We created our dish the next day, after buying clams at the local fish market. The stew, inspired by Barca's bread, was very easy to make and came out well. We knew that clams and sausage should be our base ingredients, then we threw in onions, tomatoes and seasonings at whim. We thought we needed a starch and put it over some pasta, which, in hindsight, was unnecessary, as the delicious bread was all we really needed. The sweetness of the clams and onions balanced well with the spiciness of the sausage and red pepper, while the grill and paprika added that smokiness we love.


1 pound linguica (Portuguese sausage)

1 Vidalia onion

1 pound mahogany or other small live clams

28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

6 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Slice the linguica into rounds and grill for a few minutes each side until browned, then throw them in a large stock pot. Slice the onions into thin strips and grill the onions, in the pan used to grill the linguica, for several minutes until they begin to caramelize, then throw them in the pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and give a good stir until everything is well mixed. Put the lid on and cook over medium-high heat for fifteen minutes, or until everything is heated through and the clams are open. Enjoy with good, crusy Portuguese bread.


The Duo Dishes said...

Linguica is good stuff right? So good.

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