I'M NOT SUPERSTITIOUS, BUT I will always wish good luck to my friends and loved ones—as well as hope for more success and a better year for myself—and not just do it for fear that there year 2013 is out to get us all. And with that in mind, I set out to have the very first meal of the new year involve foods commonly used in many cuisines to symbolize good luck.
Most of those food have, or did have, a resemblance to money in many old cultures, and they include mollusks, leafy greens, and peas and beans. So after collecting some "fortuned" ingredients from Fairway Market (and unfortunately having to substitute my intended Prince Edward Island mussels for littleneck clams and as well as using green pigeon peas instead of black eyed peas since Fairway was out of both items), I got got home and started a big pot with just a little bit of oil.
Once the oil got hot, and diced some chorizo (its kicky heat representing "kicking" in the new year), and stirred those in the oil, rendering its fat and color. After two minutes, I stirred in sliced shallots, cooking them until they started becoming translucent. After adding some salt and fresh-cracked pepper, I poured in two-thirds of a bottle of champagne ("celebration"), letting the alcohol cook off for about four minutes.
I then threw in the peas ("coins"), some fresh arugula ("money"), and two dozen littleneck clams ("coins"), stirring for a minute to cover them in the other ingredients before placing the lid on the pot.
Good fortune came my way indeed as I removed the lid after four minutes to find every single clam opened! Using a very large spoon, I collected first the clams to put in a bowl, then the chorizo, beans and shallots, then several spoons of the cooking liquid to drizzle over the whole dish. Served with two slices of plain rye toast—to sop up the broth—that was the best 13 minutes of productivity I had for the day, as well as the most enjoyable 13 minutes I took to eat and finish the meal.
Happy New Year, fellow epicures, and may 2013 bring you a least a great fortune of good eating!
Bun Apple Tea!
New Year's "Good Luck" Clams | Littleneck Clams with Shallots, Chorizo, Peas, and Arugula, in a Broth of Champagne, Lemon Juice, and Butter