One food Amy missed while living in New Orleans is clams. While NOLA was an amazing place for seafood, they didn't serve clams. Oysters? Sure. Shrimp? Tons of 'em. Crawfish? Catfish? Crab? Check, check and check. But clams? Nowhere to be found. Back in Connecticut, however, clams are common and we're glad for that. Last week, we bought some steamers and littlenecks and made them, Cajun style.
Our NOLA-fied inspiration was two gorgeous links of andouille sausage Amy's mom bought us from Pekarski's Sausage in South Deerfield, Massachusetts (they don't have a website, but you can read about Pekarski's here). The other ingredients we chose because they enhance the fabulous flavors found in andouille, are typical ingredients in Cajun-style cooking, and/or they add a touch of pretty color to the dish. For our liquid, we used a pale ale, but only because we can't find Abita Turbodog here in New England. If it's not one thing, it's another!
2 links andouille sausage
1 pound steamer clams
1 pound littleneck clams
1 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1 small yellow bell pepper, roasted, then chopped
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped sweet potato
1 bottle of pale ale
small bunch chives (chopped) for garnish
Brown the sausage over high heat on all sides, then cut it into rounds. Place the sausage and remaining ingredients (except chives) in a large pot and cook, covered, over high heat for 10-15 minutes, until clams open. Garnish with chopped chives and serve with crusty French bread and ice cold beer.