Linguine with White Wine Clam Sauce

Linguine with White Wine Clam Sauce

If you’re a clam lover, this dish will make your mouth water. A new England classic and a combination of three different unpublished recipes by my grandmother, Paula Peck: veloute, linguine in white clam sauce, and white wine sauce. I’ve combined them into one easier to follow recipe minus the heavy cream. A hodge-podge that becomes a garlicky semi-creamy sauce with a tang of sweet and sour citrus clam flavor. Exactly what you want in a white clam sauce.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cups stock (fish or chicken)
2 shallots, chopped
1 1/2 cups white wine
¾  cup milk
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
16-18 cherrystone clams, scrubbed
1lb cooked linguine
½ cup chopped parsley

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in flour, using a wire whisk. Slowly whisk in 1 ½ cups stock. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.

Combine shallot, remaining stock, and white wine in a large skillet over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Add milk and lemon juice. Heat through.  Whisk white wine sauce into butter flour stock mixture. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

In the same large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Add sauce and clams. Simmer until clams open. Stir in cooked linguine and chopped parsley. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan and lemon slices.

Serves 4-6.


Red Snapper or Cod Veracruzana

Cod Veracruzana

This is one of many, quick fish dishes from “The Art of Good Cooking.” Fish is one of the most interchangeable proteins. For example, although cod or snapper are the recommended fish for this dish and they are commonly sold, you could use mackerel, bass, or even tilapia (very cheap but bland and a waste of time in my opinion). Traditionally made with Snapper, this dish originated in Mexico in the Veracruz state and is probably the most famous dish from the area. The combination of well known Mexican spices like cumin and chili powder with garlic, olives, and olive oil – ingredients that were supposedly brought to Mexico by the Spaniards – give this dish it’s unique spicy international taste and flavor.


3 lbs filleted red snapper or thick cod steak
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large green peppers, seeded and sliced
3 large onions, sliced
12 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1/4 cup fresh, chopped/chiffonade)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup canned tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup chicken or fish stock
cayenne pepper or hot sauce to taste
24 mixed olives
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Dry fish fillets with paper towels. Saute fish in a little olive oil very briefly, on both sides, until it is lightly browned. Arrange fish in a broad baking dish.

In the same pan, saute the green peppers, onions and garlic in remaining olive oil. When vegetables are just soft, stir in chili powder, basil, oregano, bay leaf, and cumin.

Place tomatoes in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until they lose their shape and form a sauce. Add fish liquid to tomato sauce, then combine sauce with vegetable mixture. Season to taste with salt, pepper, sugar, and cayenne or hot sauce. Spoon this mixture over and around fish. Place in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or just until cooked through.

Sprinkle olives, fresh tomato slices, and cilantro over dish. Serve at once.

Serves 6.

Adapted from “The Art of Good Cooking” by Paula Peck.


Quick Asian Style Shrimp Saute

Chinese Shrimp with Cucumber

Shrimp is always a tasty treat in the summertime. Put it together with refreshing cucumber and you have a light, very quick dish. I guarantee you can make this dish at least twice in the time it takes for that Chinese delivery guy to show up. But this will be much fresher.

Chinese food has actually been in America since the late 1800’s and it made it’s way to the east coast early in the 20th century. When “The Art of Good Cooking” was written in the 1960’s, Polynesian themed restaurants were gaining popularity. Surprisingly, American Chinese food is actually a strange combination of Cantonese, Polynesian, and American cuisine. This is reflected in the sweeter ingredients like sugar and pineapple, as well as the infamous MSG that was practically considered a spice in the 1960’s. This dish is no exception and was titled “Shrimp with Cucumber, Chinese Style.” It of course includes cornstarch, sugar, and sherry (optional) which are all definitely not Authentic Chinese ingredients, but more so American Chinese ingredients (which also means kids will love it!).


4 tablespoons sherry (optional)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 lbs shelled, cleaned raw shrimp
2 large cucumbers
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine sherry (if using), soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch. Marinate shrimp in this mixture. Peel cucumbers and cut in half; scoop out seeds with a teaspoon. Cut into ¼ inch slices. Add to shrimp mixture.

Just before serving, drain shrimp and cucumbers from marinade but reserve marinade. In a heavy skillet, heat vegetable oil until it is hot. Add shrimp and cucumbers. Saute over high heat stirring constantly, for 3 or 4 minutes, or until all shrimp are pink. Add marinade. As soon as sauce thickens, serve with fluffy steamed rice. Garnish with chopped scallions.

Serves 5-6.


Stuffed Squid

Crab Stuffed Squid

I know what your thinking about this photo. What are those awkward tubular things with pale centers speckled with green. Are they giant croquettes? No…it’s a seafood delight: whole squid stuffed with a crab shrimp combination smothered in a tomato wine sauce. If you’re a seafood lover than this dish is for you.

I made very few changes to this Italian based dish from “The Art of Good Cooking.” Primarily, I just eliminated the beef gravy because it’s often too time consuming to make and using a canned gravy with fresh seafood seems like a waste. As with all seafood, the two most important elements for success are: 1. To use the freshest seafood 2. Not to over cook any of it, especially the squid. If you manage these two tasks, you’ll end up with a soft buttery mix of lump crab meat and tender shrimp surrounded by light fresh squid with just the slightest bite. Save this one for a special occasion.


6 medium-size squid
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked shrimp
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked crabmeat
salt and pepper
1/2 cup scallions
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup red wine
Saute chopped onion and half of the minced garlic in half melted butter. When vegetables are soft, add chopped parsley, tarragon, shrimp, and crabmeat. Toss well together. Season well with salt and pepper.

Stuff this filling firmly into the cleaned squid tubes. Heat remaining butter in saucepan. Add chopped scallions and remaining garlic. Saute till tender. Add tomato puree and wine. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Lower heat. Add stuffed squid and simmer until squid are tender, about  20-30 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 6.


Deviled Clams

Deviled Clams

I must admit that these tasty little fruits of the sea came out a little crispier and a little darker than I intended. I blame it on a new oven fiasco. While the recipe says to broil on medium, today’s ovens usually offer just low and high broil settings. In the interest of time, I decided to use the high setting and promised myself I would watch them carefully. Unfortunately, I was using a brand new oven and the broil setting hadn’t yet been used. Not only did the oven omit a strong new oven/chemical smell on the high broil setting, the neighbors called security due to what they said smelled like “an electric fire. Somehow amongst the commotion of the multiple security guards and maintenance men entering our apartment to stare at inspect the new oven, one of whom felt the need to comment that he was looking at buying the same oven for his own apartment, I managed to broil these little guys without completely destroying them. I actually enjoyed the combination of the slightly crispier top with the soft filling. The small piece of bacon on top, while delicious (of course), almost overpowers the light fresh clam flavor and could be easily omitted. These little bursts of flavor are an excellent appetizer or light lunch (especially if your broiler works properly…).


2 dozen small (cherrystone) clams or 1 dozen large
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 teaspoons tomato paste
salt and pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
2 slices bacon, chopped

Scrub clams well to get any sand off shells. Place them in a large pot and add wine. Cook, covered, over low heat, just until the clam shells open.

Remove clams from pot and reserve half of each shell. Remove clams from shells.

Grind clams in food processor.

Melt butter in skillet. Saute green pepper, onion, and garlic till soft and golden. Add chopped parsley and bread crumbs. Stir in tomato paste. Season well with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Remove from heat and add clams.

Fill reserved clam shells with this mixture. Sprinkle tops with chopped bacon (if using) and place on broiling pan.

Brown under low broil (or high broil if watched carefully) until bacon is crisp.

Serves 4

From “The Art of Good Cooking” by Paula Peck. Adapted by Megan Peck.


1 2 3 4