Kimchi or tomatillo salsa clams
(More recipes follow)
1 recipe Kimchi, or double recipe of Tomatillo Salsa (see recipes below), or 2 cups store-bought kimchi or salsa
1 large onion
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
48 small cherrystone clams
1 loaf crusty bread
1. Prepare the Kimchi or tomatillo salsa
2. Finely chop the onion (about 2 cups). Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until it has softened. If using kimchi, coarsely chop it or pulse it in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Add the kimichi or tomatillo salsa to the saucepan and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, scrub the clams, discarding any that don't close. Add the cleaned clams to the saucepan; cover and steam for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they open. Transfer the clams to a bowl as they open. Discard any clams that don't open after 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Divide the clams and sauce among 4 soup or pasta plates and serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
Quick or Quicker Kimchi
1 small head napa cabbage (about 1 pound)
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 medium red bell pepper
3 medium scallions
One 3-inch piece fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
1. Trim of the core end of the cabbage. Split each leaf lengthwise and cut it crosswise into 11 2-inch ribbons (about 4 cups). Combine the cabbage and salt in a nonreactive bowl and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours. Bring the vinegar, sugar, paprika, and cayenne to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan.
2. Meanwhile, finely chop the bell pepper (about 1/2 cup) and transfer it to a medium bowl. Trim and thinly slice the scallions (a heaping 1/3 cup) and peel and Microplane-grate the ginger (about 1 tablespoon); transfer each to the bowl with the bell pepper as it is prepared. Press the garlic (about 1 teaspoon) into the bowl.
3. Drain, rinse, and thoroughly dry the cabbage; add it to the bell pepper mixture along with the vinegar mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Pack the kimchi into a nonreactive bowl or jar, cover, and refrigerate until you are ready to use it. Kimchi will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
Quicker Kimchi: Drain, rinse, and thoroughly dry 1 cup sauerkraut. Prepare the recipe as above, substituting the sauerkraut for the salted cabbage with no standing time, and serve right away.