Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Best Day Ever - Still in Bahia Concepcion

Looks yummy doesn't it? Read on...
Just a quick Cinnabar update, still anchored in Bahia Concepcion below the lovely Casa de Los Suenos and enjoying our little bay filled with lots of birds, fishies, shellfish, and the occasional turtle...

We've been having a terrific time with our friends Joe and Lisa who flew out to visit us from back home.

Yesterday morning Joe and Lisa were in the cockpit reading and enjoying the morning, when I popped my head out to have a look around. And what was the first thing I spied? A whale shark swimming just a few boat lengths away! We immediately grabbed our snorkel gear, jumped into the dinghy, and motored over to it. Lisa, Joe and I slipped into the water and swam with the beautiful creature a good, long while. This one was small for a whale shark, but still quite big and impressive. It did something I hadn't seen before, it would swim down, then open its mouth and rise to the surface, then sink back down again and leisurely swim around. Very cool!

Unfortunately nobody grabbed their cameras so we don't have any pictures. Lisa and Joe found it again and snorkeled with it a while longer. What a great morning.
Lisa, only slightly excited about seeing her first whale shark.

Mike had told us about a beach that supposedly had lots of clams, so later that afternoon Joe and Tom decided to dinghy around the point to see if they could locate some. The wind had started to whip up but they gave it a go anyway.

They returned about an hour and a half later with a bag filled with clams. They had collected over 80 clams and I could barely lift the bag.

I soaked the clams in sea water for a couple of hours so they would hopefully spit out their sand. (They did.)
Big bucket 'o clams. Mike told us to throw the big ones back, too tough to eat.

Later we cooked up some pasta, then steamed the clams in Pacifico beer, garlic, butter, Salsa Martajada (dried chiles in oil, my new favorite condiment), tomatoes, lime and cilantro (recipe below). What a feast!
Lisa, Joe and Syl, about to indulge in some very fresh steamed clams.

Not only did the guys forage dinner for us, they even did the dishes afterward.
Tom and Joe, these guys are the best!

Later we sat under the stars and watched little phosphorescent sea creatures wiggle and swim around the boat.

Yes, it was a VERY good day.

Yield: 4 servings
  • 60 – 80 steamer or butter clams (15-20 clams per person)1-2 cans Pacifico or other light beer
  • ½ cup sliced onion (white or yellow)
  • ½ head garlic, diced
  • ¼ - ½ cup butter
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Salsa Martajada (dried chiles in oil) to taste. Some brands are spicier than others.
  • Juice of 1-2 small limes
  • Chopped cilantro, basil or parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the clams in sea water for 30 minutes. Swish around in the water and scrub any especially dirty ones. Remove clams and re-fill bucket with fresh sea water. Soak the clams for another 30 minutes and swish around again to dislodge any sand on the outsides of the shells. Rinse with sea water. Cover with fresh water and soak for another 30 minutes. Hopefully the clams have spit out most of their sand; drain them well.
Saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil until just starting to turn golden. Add beer and heat until it is steaming. With heat on high, add the tomatoes, clams and the butter. Steam on high heat until the clams open.  Remove the clams to a bowl, squeeze lime juice over them and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Taste the pan liquid and adjust seasoning. Pour almost all the pan juice over the clams and strain well, but BE CAREFUL to not pour any sandy liquid at the bottom over your beautifully cleaned clams. Serve with crusty French bread or with pasta sautĂ©ed in garlic and olive oil.

1 comment: