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Friday, March 28, 2014

Dog Cockles on Spirelli'd Zucchini

Is how to give yourself a very warm and full of love "Welcome Home" after a tough week out of town.
Thank you, me, everything was perfect.  Some familiarity, some discovery, a bed of health, some spice, some comfort.. some of the best emotions all in one plate.
Dog cockles have a prettier name in French, Amandes de Mer, which literally translates to "Sea Almonds" clearly much sexier than "Coques de Chien.."
I'm really not here to debate about language, but about the magical dinner you can make for under 2 euros/person but could sell in a restaurant for probably 20 euros.  This meal almost made me switch careers... except I know good deals don't last.
While grocer shopping my usual fish mongered wanted to sell me trout, but I spied with my right eye a little sign near the cockles listing 1,98Eur/kg.  Whaaaat?  Was it a mistake?  No no, that's the correct price.  They say 400g per person, so I bought 1200g (come on now, do I look like I'd have enough of 400g?).
Since these are actually quite different than clams (palourdes) which are much smaller and milder, I decided to cook these as I would cook mussels, steamed with olive oil, garlic, basil, cracked pepper, and some piment d'espelette with a splash of beer for moisture (I didn't have any wine) for about 12 minutes.
I sautéed some spirelli'd zucchini in some olive oil, pepper, and paprika for about 5 minutes and dinner was done.

Compared to mussels, these are much more chewy, but bursting with flavor.  For those who prefer more subtle flavors, I'd suggest a longer cooking time.  These can be eaten raw or baked, stuffed, or a ton of different ways, which for that price, I will try each and every one of those ways.

I can't explain how happy this dinner made me.  I needed it.. and deserved it!
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