Here’s a simple, flavorful dish suitable for a quick weeknight supper that takes only around 45 minutes from start to finish.
Though our Midwestern constitutions don’t always feel at home in the South, we fully appreciate just how lucky we are to live on the Atlantic shore where seafood is not only abundant but caught-that-morning fresh. Today’s bowl of goodness features briny sweet NC littlenecks, but takes its inspiration from memories of travelling to two other coastal areas.
First are Roaring Water Bay mussels that we steamed in a heady Sligo County brew with bacon and cabbage. A feast taken watching the moon rise over the inky black waters of Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland. The other, cherrystone clams cooked with garlic, chillies, lemon and a splash of a local white wine. In the postcard village of Lubec, ME, perched at the northeastern tip of the US, it was a meal prepared in the shared kitchen of our inn and enjoyed in our room overlooking the Quoddy Narrows and Canada in the distance.
There’s something magical about Ireland.
Dun Briste, Downpatrick Head, County Mayo, Ireland
We fell madly in love during our holiday earlier this year, gaining a special fondness for the country’s western coast affectionately known as the Wild Atlantic Way. Its fresh sea air, bracingly powerful winds, fields of scrubby heather, near-daily rainbows, and millions of scruffy sheep. Its rugged shores, dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views. Its universal small-town feeling and general friendliness graciously extended to wayfaring strangers.
Unsurprisingly we frequently found ourselves deep in conversation with the locals – typically about eating and drinking, preferably over a bowl of something steamy or a pint of something dark and frothy. In addition to their excellence at preparing their bounty skillfully and serving it generously, the Irish speak with intense pride about the things they grow, raise, harvest, make, brew and cook. There is literally a story behind every mouthful, and we attempted to unravel each.