Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grand Cooking for a Grand Opening - Part 1

Just when you thought you were in the know of cool markets, a new one jumps out at you . Today, while I was getting a haircut, my stylist mentioned that new H Mart was opening up in the area. H Mart supermarket ?  I had Never heard about about it.  Founded in 1982 (source BusinessWeek), H Mart has been around since 1982 and has been expanding in a very noticeable way.
Logo
My stylist, mentioned that the market was selling some uncommon looking clams and she described them as "long looking shells with strange things hanging out".  They are not the prettiest of mollusks, but I immediately knew she was describing razor clams.  I find them to be fascinating creatures. She continued with her story.  By this time, her shears were nipping pretty close to my earlobes.  But that did not perturb me with fear.  Instead I was getting more and more fidgety while she kept on describing how cool this new super market was.  I knew immediately that I  needed to head out there, and not let any time be wasted.

Ironically, it turns out that less than one hour ago I was asked by a cousin of mine as we slowly consumed good cup of espresso, what I was going to cook this weekend, I had responded that I was going to take it easy this time. Well, things were about to change, after learning about the new H Mart.

As you might know by now , I am  big fan of ethnic markets,  so I just could not resist. I routinely shop in Chinatown, places like Little Italy, Little Brazil, and Jackson Heights Queens where Indian and Pakistani food can be purchased.  I have even attempted to shop Brighton Beach for Russian ingredients, but got lost in the back roads of Brooklyn.

Anyway ,  Less than 1 hour after getting a trim, I was already exploring the rich , super well stocked aisles of the newest H Mart in the area.  I was amazed at everything. On the day after grand opening day, the store was packed. It was bright. It was ultra-clean . All products, from produce, to meat, to Kimchi (a small jar is sitting in my fridge now, ready for a special recipe - stay tined)  , to seafood and baked goods were super fresh, and of very high quality.

The seafood section in particular met my expectations. Not only did I find and buy the razor claims that my stylist had described to me, but I also picked up a few other items, including some  very nice looking package of baby octopus.

Pacific Razor Clams Cooked in Chardonnay / Red Ruby Grapefruit Sauce 
Eazor Clams in White Wine and Red Ruby Grapefruit Reduction

Ingredients 
1 dozen Razor claims, cleaned
1/2 cup of ruby red, grapefruit slices, pulp only
1/2 cup of grape tomatoes
fresh thyme- abundant, and finely chopped
three cloves of garlic, sliced
1 cup chardonnay
S/P
EVOO

I served these over a medley of baby trumpet mushrooms and brown Japanese mushrooms.


Preparation Notes:

Simpler than you would think. Clean the claims with a sharp knife.  You can get them to open by dunking them in a pot with some boiling water. then chilling them back down with some cold water to stop the cooking.  After cleaning , place them back in their shells when you cook them. Add them to a high edged skillet where some EVOO and garlic was heating on very low heat.   Add the herbs, the wine.  Cover the skillet. After a few minutes add the grapefruit slices. Cover again and cook for a few more  minutes. Do not overcook. Remember these are clams, and you do not want to be eating rubber bands.

Plate over some sauteed mushrooms, seasoned with some of the same herbs that you used for the clams.


Cheers !

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