Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tina the Pig

Tina arrived right before Christmas, after being lovingly raised all summer by my friend Bev. Actually, half of Tina arrived, and I split her with my sister. Hop on over to Glitter Goods to see what my sister is doing with Tina. Bev raises a pack of pigs (herd of pigs? Group of pigs? What do you call a bunch of pigs?) and names them all beginning with the same letter, a different one each year. Last year we had Nathan, and Nathan bacon was the best. This year it’s Tina, who inspired a batch of sausage and clams.

I saw Cat Cora serve this on Iron Chef, and I knew I had to figure out how to make it. I have used Italian sausage too, it’s good with two sweet sausages and two hot. If you use plain sausage add some chili pepper flakes to spice it up. I’ve also made this for four people, go ahead and double the recipe if you need to. Next time I make this I’m going to add fennel cut into large matchsticks and sautéed after the sausage but before deglazing the pan. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Tina and Clams

Serves 2

French baguette or country loaf
2 cloves garlic, put through a press
3 Tablespoons olive oil plus more for browning sausage
1 pound pork sausage or Italian sausage out of casings
¼ cup white wine
½ cup fish stock, clam juice or chicken stock
salt and pepper
olive oil for drizzling
¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 2 large cloves of garlic through a garlic press and add ¼ teaspoon table salt and 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Set this aside while you tear or cut 2 cups of 1-inch white bread cubes (from a baguette or country loaf). They are going to be bigger than usual croutons, that’s what you want. Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil through fine-mesh strainer evenly onto the bread, tossing to coat all the cubes. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes, stirring and flipping once halfway through. Set the croutons aside.

Brown the sausage over medium high heat in a little olive oil in a skillet with plenty of room. Once all the sausage is browned, deglaze the pan with ¼ cup white wine, then add ½ cup stock and clams. Cover the pan and let simmer about 5 minutes or until all the clams have opened. Taste a little and add salt and pepper if needed. Discard closed clams, and spoon sausage, clams and broth into shallow bowls. Top with croutons and drizzle a little olive oil over the top of each serving, then sprinkle with chopped parsley and dig in!


Troy said...

You know I love me some pig. Tina looks magically delicious.

Betz White said...

i miss your cooking...:)

Carole said...

Tina bacon ain't bad either!