Not only do I look to the East and the West for sources of inspiration, I also look to the past for great ingredients about which we may have forgotten…like buttermilk, which used to be a staple in American kitchens. It’s not only a lighter alternative to cream, but also to Asian coconut milk, as I’ll show you today with my Thai Curried Clams and Chorizo. It’s a great one-pot-meal that features a clams and sausage combo that’s well-loved in both the East and West.
1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch-dice chorizo or 1/4 pound ground sausage
2 large leeks, white part julienned
2 pounds cockles or small littleneck clams, purged overnight in water/cornmeal/pinch of salt solution
3 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup buttermilk
Juice of 2 limes
2 cups cooked orzo
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a stock pot coated lightly with oil over medium-high heat, add chorizo, leeks, cockles (discard any open cockles), and curry paste, and sauté about 2 minutes, then season. Deglaze with wine and cover; cook for 6-8 minutes. Add buttermilk, lime juice, and orzo, stir to combine and check for seasoning. Serve, discarding any unopened cockles.
Chateau Villa Bel-Air Blanc, Bordeaux, France
Taste: Rich and complex with white fruit and caramel flavors.
Aroma: Honey mixed with smoky notes
60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon
Chef Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the nation.