CLAMS WITH SAFFRON & VERMOUTH CREAM SAUCE
This fragrant combination makes a light, delicate, starter course. I make it with vermouth from Mt Edward, saffron from Bannockburn and sweet, fresh, Cloudy Bay Clams.
2.5kg fresh clams 2 tablespoons butter 2 large shallots, finely diced ¾ cup vermouth (or white wine) generous pinch saffron threads pinch chilli flakes 300ml cream ¼ cup chives, finely chopped grinds of pepper pinch salt as needed
Wash clams, discarding any that are broken or open. Heat butter in a large deep pot, add shallots and sizzle without browning for about 5 minutes until softened. Mix saffron into vermouth, and add to the pot with chilli and cream. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Increase heat to high, add clams, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until clams fully open. Divide cooked clams between 8 shallow serving bowls. Mix chives into sauce, season with pepper and salt if needed. Pour sauce over clams and serve. Serves 8 as a starter