Michael McKinnell | Executive Chef at Mordecai

Mordecai

3632 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60613

https://www.mordecaichicago.com/

Recipe:

Linguine Herbs & Clams

Herb Burre Monte, Smoked Cherrystones, Littlenecks, Bonito

HERB PUREE

1/3 of a cup of Parsley, picked, stems reserved

1/3 of a cup picked, stems reserved

5 sprigs thyme, picked, stems reserved

1 shallot, sliced thin

5 cloves garlic, shaved thin

Salt

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.

2. Take all the ingredients and blanch them for about 30 seconds in the boiling water and then shock them immediately in an ice bath.

3. Once cooled, squeeze out excess liquid and blend in a blender until smooth (If you don’t have a blender, a kitchen aid will work just as well. Reserve this for later).

SMOKED CHERRYSTONES

5-6 Whole Cherrystones, lightly scrubbed without soap, and purged in water for 30 minutes

1/4 cup Cherry wood

Herb stems

1 Lemon cut into rings equal to the amount of clams

** You will need a pan large enough to hold your clams, plus a small tinfoil fire pit for the wood chips. If this seems too complicated, you can either grill your clams until they open, or roast them in the oven– also until they open. Once the clams open, you will follow the steps at the end of this recipe.

1. Lay your lemon slices in the pan and place a clam atop each slice. This will help create a little steam under each clam to help them open.

2. Create a small fire pit out of tin foil for your wood chips and place in your pan. Next, we need to light the wood chips on fire. In the restaurant I use a blow torch; however, at home you can start a fire with them in a pan and then transfer them, or you can lay them on top of your grill until they catch fire. I suggest using another method of cooking if you don’t have a blow torch.

3. Once the wood chips have lit on fire and are transferred to the foil fire pit, allow them to burn for about 1 minute, then carefully blow them out until they are light ambers. Immediately cover with foil and poke a hole above the wood chips so you don’t suffocate your heat source. Allow to smoke for about 20-30 minutes and the clams start to open.

4. Cool clams and remove the shells, revering as much liquid as possible. Chop up smoked clam bodies and reserve in the natural juice.

THE DISH

1 pound Linguine

15-30 little neck clams

Smoked CherryStones

Herb Puree

1 stick of butter, cut into small cubes, cold

1 cup Clam juice

1 cup white wine

5 Cloves garlic, sliced thin

3 Shallot, Small dice

Vegetable oil

Salt

Pepper

1 Lemon

1. Bring water to a boil and start cooking your linguine.

2. In a sauce pot large enough to hold your linguine plus the sauce, heat enough oil to cook with, bringing to a medium heat, and add the garlic. Cook until it is lightly toasted and then add the clams, shallot, and wine. Cover with a lid. Cook until the clams open. You may need to add a little clam juice or water to avoid burning.

3. Once clams have opened, add in the clam juice and smoked clams. Bring to a rapid simmer.

4. Once simmering, add your butter slowly to create the base to the sauce and season lightly with salt, pepper, and lemon.

5. Remove from heat. At this point in time the pasta should be cooked. Strain your pasta and add to the pot.

6. Finish the sauce with the herb puree and serve. This should feed four people.