Friday, April 18, 2008

My Cheer Up Food

Perhaps it's this freezing weather, the recent death in the family or because of other things in my life out of my control or all of the above- for whatever reason I was a little down this week and when other parts of my life are out of my control, I gravitate towards things that I can control to lift my spirits. Like cooking something wonderful.

I went to Ballard Market grocery store to buy some squid for a squid salad and was completely surprised to find razor clams. It was a happy surprise to find the one thing that may be my favorite thing to eat in the world, right there waiting for me to come and get them. Sweet, delicious and delicate razor clams, if you haven't had them, they are one of life's perfect delicacies. Seasonal and rarely available I was ecstatic. The squid salad would have to wait. I also bought two artichokes, a couple lemons and white wine.

I coated each razor clam in Old Bay-seasoned flour, egg and cream wash and then panko. I fried them in a little butter/oil until lightly browned (they don't take long) and then onto paper towels. After the artichokes were steamed, Mark and I made two dipping aioli along with classic melted butter. A caper and herb aioli with lemon and an Old Bay season aioli with lemon and garlic.

The sweet razor clam meat, all salty and juicy in its crusty batter went great with both aioli. The artichoke leaves left our teeth like velvet butter and with the wine, the sweetness lingered like a giant inhalation of spring air. We toasted to Uncle Don, warmer weather and book sales of course! I was instantly cheered. Try as I might to go big-it's the small pleasures in life after all. There was nothing I could have wanted more at that moment.

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