Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Supper. Recipe: Bouillabaisse Clambake

"R" and I have really been enjoying cooking at home more since we remodeled the kitchen. We have so much more counter space, dishes are easily thrown in the dishwasher (how did we live without one for so long???!!), and I am in love with our new kitchen table. When I'm not assisting, I like to curl up at the table and watch him cook as we chat about our day.

Dinner was always important in our household growing up. We'd gather around the kitchen table to catch up, linger after dinner, and often bust out a board game. Sure, my brother and I both went through time periods when we were bratty and annoyed by this "family time" and wanted to be holed up in our rooms instead, but we knew that it was important and something that my parents expected of us. I am so glad that they did. I have such great memories of sitting around our table, and I enjoy every minute of it when "R" and I visit my family now. Dinner was meant to be slowly enjoyed, lively conversation taking place, and memories made.

It's something that I try to bring to our dinnertime now, often insisting that we set the kitchen table, sit down for our meal, and slow down while we eat to really talk to each other. "R" clearly has a different perception of what dinnertime is, but he indulges me as best he can, and we do enjoy this time together. Sometimes I give in and we eat over the coffee table as we watch TV. Compromise, people. 

Heinen's believes that dinner time is important too, and they are hosting a campaign called "Heinen's Sunday Supper" to learn about what supper means to you. I think Sundays are the day when families often set aside time to make a nice meal and linger at the table together. As part of this campaign, Heinen's asked me to participate by sharing with you what Sunday Supper means to me, and they provided me with a gift card to shop for a meal to enjoy. "R" and I had a blast shopping there last weekend, browsing the seafood department, picking up some of their easy prepared foods to eat during the week, and purchasing a small wedge of fantastic cheese to enjoy for dessert on Sunday.

I wanted this Sunday Supper to be special. To enjoy cooking the meal together, and feasting on some of our favorite foods. That meant that it had to include shellfish, and we found a fun recipe in Cuisine at Home that we adapted.

Bouillabaisse Clambake (4 servings, Total Time = 1 hour)

2 fennel bulbs, cut into wedges
1 leek, halved, cut into 1-inch pieces (white part only)
1 bulb garlic, halved
2 tsp. herbs de Provence
3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups dry white wine
juice of 1 orange
pinch of saffron, crumbled
2 tomatoes, chopped

8 baby red potatoes, halved
16 littleneck clams (Note- littleneck were not available, so we substituted smaller clams that Heinen's had in stock)
1 kielbasa, cut into 12 pieces (14 oz.)
12 extra-large shrimp, shells left on (Note- we substituted two 8 oz. lobster tails)
3 ears corn, cut into thirds

Saute fennel, leek, garlic, and herbs de Provence in oil in a large pot over high heat until fennel begins to brown, 5 minutes.
Combine wine, orange juice, and saffron (crumble threads between your fingers so they dissolve easy) in a bowl.
Deglaze pot with mixture, and stir in tomatoes.
Insert a steamer basket.
Layer potatoes in basket, cover, reduce heat to medium, and steam 15 minutes.
Add clams, cover, and steam 15 minutes.
Top clams with kielbasa, shrimp, and corn; cover and steam until clams open and shrimp are opaque and shells are pink, 5-10 minutes more.
Discard any unopened clams.
Additional step- Set and decorate your table (I love the bright orange flowers that we picked up at Heinen's weeks ago.)
To serve, divide broth among four shallow bowls, then divide potatoes, clams, kielbasa, shrimp, and corn among each serving.
What a gorgeous plate of food!

It tasted as good as it looks, and it was a great way to enjoy a classic fall clambake at home. I was impressed with the flavor of the corn and clams, since they are not in-season. That is one thing that I love about Heinen's- the quality of their products.

So, what does Sunday Supper mean to you?

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the Heinen's Sunday Supper campaign, and received a gift card in exchange for this blog post and tagging photos taken. It was such a fun experience, and a great reminder about how important dinner time together is to me. 


Margaret said...

This sounds fantastic!! I'm not a huge fan of clams- but definitely shrimp and lobster- heck maybe some mussels too.

I love big Sunday dinners and sitting around the table talking, eating, drinking and enjoying families company :)

Bite Buff said...

Margaret- mussels are a good choice too! Anything that will steam and absorb the broth. Sunday dinners with the ones you love are the best. :)