White Burgundy and Little Neck Clams
Almost halfway through summer, while I love grilling, one starts to tire slightly from grilled food all of the time. I have no desire to turn on the stove for too long on a hot summer day, so steamed littleneck clams fits the bill. Add a cold bottle of white wine and you have a recipe for a perfect mid-summer dinner. I recently selected the 2009 JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc. "JJ" Bourgogne Blanc is a tribute to Jean Jacques Vincent who has managed the family domaine of Chateau Fuisse for the past 40 years. The wine is 100% Chardonnay, with a fresh ripe nose, and lemony citrus notes. This sees some oak, and it is balanced, well structured and delicious. This Bourgogne Blanc is an extremely great value and quality in this price level. It is made by Antoine Vincent, the same winemaker who makes the legendary Pouilly-Fuisse wines of Chateau Fuisse - of which Robert Parker says "There is no domaine in all of southern Burgundy that has more of a legendary reputation than this extraordinary estate."
Steamed Littleneck Clams:
50 Littleneck clams
4 minced shallots
2 lb.’s Garlicky sausage (Italian sausage or chorizo could substitute)
1 Cup Dry white wine
2 tsp. Saffron
3 Diced Tomatoes
Chopped chives to garnish (optional)
Baguette grilled with olive oil and salt and pepper
This is a quick simple dish, and the stove doesn’t have to be on too long in the hot weather. Start by searing the sausage whole in olive oil, remove from pan and cut on the bias and reserve. Add the minced shallots, diced tomatoes, white wine, saffron and sliced sausage to the pan, allow the alcohol to cook off then add the clams. Cover with a lid until the clams have opened. Pour into a large bowl garnish with the chives, and serve with the grilled bread for dipping in the broth.