Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Covered Cherrystone Clams

Allerfic to shellfish? Not in the mood to prank someone? Well, you're just not any fun at all, are you? You will, however, be gratified to know that this is a very simple recipe for chocolate dipped whatevers and you can simply replace the clams with fruit or pretzels. Chocolate dipped fruit is a big seller on Hallmark Day and stores will gouge the shit out of you for it. It might look less fancy if you do it yourself but you get more for what you pay, you can put on as much chocolate as you want, and unless the person you give it to is a materialistic brat, a homemade token of affection is much nicer than a store bought one. You know, I made chocolate dipped fruit once a few years ago with my best friend. It turned out great. I distinctly remember raising a piece of banana to my mouth and she said, “You know, you could make so much money on the internet with this.” She responded to my look of utter confusion with a knowing, “College lesbian sucks chocolate banana.” She’s earning a PhD right now.

Anyway, I really must reiterate that intentionally feeding someone something they’re allergic to without their knowledge is extremely dangerous and VERY illegal, even if the allergy is relatively minor. You can be hit with a number of life-ruining charges, up to and including murder and attempted murder. Gross someone out, don’t hurt them.

You need
Canned cherrystone clams (If you can afford fresh clams then go for it)
Semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Wax paper
Total cost: $1 - $10, assuming you used canned clams

Drain the clams and dry them with a paper towel. Melt a half cup of chips and 2 table spoons of butter, margarine, or shortening in a double boiler. If you don't have one, fill a pot with a few inches of water, put another pot or ceramic bowl in the water, and bring to a boil to make a jury rigged double boiler. Take care to keep water from getting in the chocolate. Stir until smooth. If the chocolate is too thick, add more butter.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper or baking parchment and arrange the clams on it. Stick a toothpick in each one. Dip each clam in the chocolate, slowly turning it over the bowl after each dip to drip off the excess and spread the chocolate evenly, and place them back on the wax paper.

Put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

The buttery, chocolately goodness is shockingly tasty with clam. The soft texture of the chocolate and the clam also work well together. It pretty damn good I’d say. If you gave this to someone wearing a blindfold, you’d probably be much more likely to get a worried “Dude…what is this?” than a panicked “AAAHHHHHHHHH! *spits*” Either way, I’m sure the look on their face would be fucking priceless.

I think a token of affection is appropriate any day of the year. Don’t feel limited to giving the gift of chocolate-covered clams during the holidays or only using clams. There’s a whole world of mollusks (and gastropods, for the particularly adventurous) out there just waiting to be dipped in a concealing layer of chocolate. What better way to let people know exactly how you feel about them? Stay Queer!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stir Fried Pineapple and Seafood Rice

I was in San Diego two weeks ago and all I could think about was seafood. You see, the climate reminded me of northern Florida a lot, which made me start craving Floribbean food. For those of you not familiar with that, it’s a style of cooking which is basically a fusion of Floridian and Caribbean cuisine.  It has a heavy focus on cooking poultry and/or seafood with fresh citrus fruit, and loads of spices. Luckily, my friend Emi bestowed some canned squid and octopus upon me. In the interest of trying things I haven’t before, I’ve decided to make fried rice with it.  BTW, the thing I haven’t tried before is making fried rice. I’ve had squid and octopus many times.   I don’t really have loads of spices, but I do have a fresh pineapple and several kinds of canned seafood. This should offset my cravings ever so slightly. NOTE: Floribbean cuisine relies very heavily on fresh ingredients, so this is about as close to real Floribbean as canned spaghetti is to authentic Italian. Not nearly as good, but it’ll do if you’re really jonesing and can’t do better at the moment.

You need:
Olive oil
Squid canned in its own ink
Octopus canned in hot sauce
Oysters canned in oil
A pineapple or can of pineapple chunks
Rice (I used a basmati rice medley)
Soy sauce
Any spices that you think will taste good.
Cost: $1 0- $20

Steam about 3 cups of rice and set it aside.

Hull, skin, and dice up about half of a pineapple or more depending on your taste. 

Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat, and add the rice, stirring frequently to keep it from sticking.  After about two minutes, add the pineapple and continue to stir for about another two minutes.

Add the oysters. If you have large oysters then cut them up a bit with the spatula.

Now add the squid…

and the octopus.

Add about 2 table spoons of soy sauce and continue to stir fry it until the pineapple is hot throughout.

The rice itself is good. It’s a tad softer than I wanted it, but I like the texture. The soy sauce combined well with the squid ink. The pineapple adds a nice bit of texture to the dish and keeps the flavor dynamic. The octopus tastes good but it’s a bit chewy. That is normal for canned octopus though, so it’s not really unexpected.  The squid is tender, flavorful, and blends nicely with the other flavors, as does the oyster. Adding a little hot sauce makes it even better. That oughta hold me over for a little bit. Stay queer!