Before Korea, I lived in Colorado. Ground zero for the hairy and unwashed. Let’s be clear, I am neither discriminating against those who tend to small mammals under their arms, nor ruling out that I may have given up on shampoo for a short while myself. Just telling it like it is.
When my grandmother came to town for my brother’s graduation, she was a little confused by the presence of turbans. Turbans, yes Grandma, let’s just go along with that. The explanation of dreadlocks may take a while. You totally wouldn’t appreciate the cool factor that explodes when they’re done up in a lofty nest. Not to mention the bonus points if the head wrap happens to be red, yellow and green (black accents and african motifs also acceptable).
Beards were par for the course and everyone who was anyone rocked one. To be honest, I can’t disagree with the trend. I envy beards during brisk rides up the ski lift. They are the face warmer to trump all others. They’re a perfect tool to ensure you’re able to savor the last bite of every meal. And also…beards are totally dead sexy! They work like gravitational force with the ladies. Well, some ladies. You know who you are.
While we know the consensus in Colorado, I’m not so sure of the beard verdict when it comes to clams. A bit foreign to me, I’m not even entirely sure what a clam beard looks like. I picture it as a scraggly little tuft, similar to the growth on an unsightly mole. Either way, I don’t think it’s favored for consumption. Since I am obviously in no position to identify a clam beard, let alone remove one, I was stoked on a find at NongHyup the other day. In the cooler section, they had a shelf full of fresh, cleaned clams, seemingly ready to go. I’d been wanting to recreate a clam sauce recipe my friend’s mom let me in on, and it seemed the time had arrived.
I established a healthy 1:1 clam to clove ratio for the garlic, and the rest was smooth sailing. The best part is that this was on the table in about 15 minutes. This is key for finding the time to pursue bearded bliss, be it disposing of sharp edges or trailing your local Mufasa.
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin if available, extra generic if living in Korea)
1/4 pound shucked, cleaned, debearded clams, lightly chopped and juices reserved
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
1/2 pound spaghetti/linguine, cooked
Heat oil in a shallow skillet over medium head. When oil is hot, toss in the garlic. Cook, gently stirring, for about 3-5 minutes or until garlic just begins to turn lightly golden. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it will turn the dish bitter. Just when garlic is starting to brown, turn off the heat. Toss in clams, reserved juice, and parsley. Stir to lightly cook the clams. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon over hot pasta.
I’d like to give a special shout-out to my man Don Wooden, new recruit to the Bearded Gentleman’s Club (BGC). He went for the gold with this one!