- 4 ounces (115 grams) Spanish chorizo, casing removed and finely chopped
- 1 cup (55 grams) panko breadcrumbs (see cooking notes)
- 2 pounds hard-shelled cherrystone, littleneck, or steamer clams
- One 12-ounce (355 ml) bottle or can of beer, whatever kind you have around but preferably on the pale side
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter, chopped into small bits
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)
This is the sort of dish that sounds exquisitely complicated but hinges on just five ingredients. Five fantastic ingredients, which I suppose helps.
- In a medium skillet, cook the chorizo over moderate heat until it is almost crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the panko, and cook, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are crisp as well, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chorizo breadcrumbs to a small bowl, and set aside until needed.
- Soak your clams in cold water for 20 minutes, then check them. If any shells are open, tap on them. If they don’t close, throw them away. Scrub your clams with a stiff brush, and rinse them well under cold water.
- In a large pot, bring the beer to a boil. Add the clams to the pot, and cover it with a tight-fitting lid. Cook until the clams open, anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes for the tiny ones to 5 to 10 minutes for the larger ones. Don’t overcook them! They’re done as soon as they open, at which point, using tongs, you can remove them from the pot. Discard any clams that remain closed.
- Preheat the broiler. Twist off and discard the top shell of each clam, being sure to keep the shell with the clam inside. Arrange the halved clams on a broiler-safe tray. Add a pea-sized bit of butter to each clam, and then sprinkle it with chorizo breadcrumbs.
- Broil the clams until the breadcrumbs are golden, about 5 minutes. Garnish them with chopped parsley, if using, and serve immediately.