New Mexico is one State that has still managed to elude me. I have yet to step foot in this state – not even a drive through or layover. So when a friend of mine sent me a recipe for a dish called Clams Lucifer from some restaurant she visited there, I was intrigued. Reading through it, two things jumped out at me: first, holy cow it looked spicy and, second, that’s a bunch of alcohol. Me likeee.
I took the original recipe and made a few changes. First off, she was given the restaurant version which was about 3x the quantities so I had to cut it down since I didn’t need to feed a football team. Also, some of the original ingredients were not available (i.e. it called for mullato peppers and “Chimayo” chili powder) so I subbed them out or omitted them. Most of all, it called for a ton of heavy cream and sugar – I subbed this out with coconut milk to appease my dairy sensitive tummy. And I added the chorizo on the recommendation from my friend who actually had their dish.
If you have never used the chipotle in adobo sauce – be warned – it is super spicy. Yes, just one little chili from the can will be just fine. The first time I ever used this, I made the mistake of misreading a recipe and thought it called for the whole can. Made the entire dish inedible it was so hot.
The original recipe comes from The Pink Adobe, a restaurant in Santa Fe. Looks like a pretty interesting menu.
Clams Lucifer via Kalen
3/4 stick of butter
5 cloves of garlic
1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotle in adobo sauce
2 Tbsp red chili powder
1 Tbsp chili flakes
1 dried Guajillo pepper
1 dried Pasilla pepper
1 Anaheim pepper
1 cup silver tequila
1 bottle of clam juice
1 bottle white wine, preferably Riesling or Pinot Grigio
1 can of coconut milk
¼ package of Mexican pork chorizo
1 ½ lbs of fresh clams
Re-hydrate the dried peppers in hot water, enough to cover. Strain the liquid and reserve to add it to the pot later. Puree the re-hydrated guajillo & pasilla with the chipotle peppers until very smooth. Roast the Anaheim pepper, remove the skin, and chop it. Chop the onions, shallots, garlic and jalapeño.
In a large pot, sauté the onions, shallots, garlic and jalapeno in butter until soft. Add chile flakes and chile powder and stir well to coat the vegetables. Add the diced Anaheim pepper. Deglaze with the tequila, then add the wine and clam juice. Stir in the pureed peppers and reserved water. Allow this mixture to come to a boil and then reduce by ¼.
While this is boiling, fry chorizo in another pan, then reduce heat and add the coconut milk to this pan. Deglaze and pour mixture into broth after it has been reduced. Simmer 10 minutes more. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
Add clams and serve after clams open. Serve with plenty of bread to sop up the yummy goodness.