Pismo clams

Lonely Planet Magazine (US) - - Easy Trips -

When An­thony Bour­dain, renowned chef and TV per­son­al­ity, made a pil­grim­age to Sabina Ban­dera’s street food cart La Guer­rerense for the Baja episode of his show No Reser­va­tions, he pro­claimed Ban­dera “a ge­nius” and the food “shock­ingly good.”

There can be no higher ac­claim. Ban­dera is more than thank­ful for his visit, along with those she re­ceives from other in­ter­na­tional stars who have made their way to Baja for her seafood-stud­ded tostadas.

Orig­i­nally from the state of Guer­rero, Ban­dera grew up around live­stock, mak­ing fresh re­quesón (a ri­cotta-like cheese) and crema (cream), and en­joy­ing such dishes as po­zole and co­chinita pi­bil. She had lit­tle to no knowl­edge about mariscos (seafood) un­til she moved to the port city of Ense­nada. It wasn’t un­til her in-laws, who founded this curb­side cart, showed her their seafood ways that she be­came a mae­stro in cook­ing with these in­gre­di­ents.

This in­ter­na­tion­ally known cart has been set up since 1960, and the lines are not slow­ing down any­time soon. As soon as La Guer­rerense came to life, so did Ban­dera’s pas­sion for cre­at­ing her own sal­sas. She be­gan to pre­pare them from the in­gre­di­ents in her gar­den, ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent chilies. Now, these in­cred­i­ble sauces can be pur­chased from her cart, and are more than worth the trip to her lit­tle cor­ner of Baja Cal­i­for­nia. A fond fa­vorite is the chile de ár­bol with peanuts.

La Guer­rerense is renowned for its ce­viche and tostadas piled high with mariscos, such as sea snail, oc­to­pus and sea urchin. For this recipe, the large Pismo clam, and its ten­derly sweet meat is topped with lo­cal in­gre­di­ents: pico de gallo, plenty of freshly squeezed lime juice, creamy slices of avo­cado and just a few drops of hot sauce.

1. In a small bowl, mix all of the pico de gallo in­gre­di­ents to­gether.

2. Shuck open a clam, and cut the meat of the clam away from the shell, then cut the meat into slices. Place the slices of clam meat back into the shell. Re­peat for each clam.

3. Add ap­prox 1 Tbsp. of the pico de gallo on top of each serv­ing of clam meat.

4. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the pico de gallo and each serv­ing of clam meat. Driz­zle with ketchup and hot sauce to taste. Top with slices of fresh avo­cado.

Serves 4 to 6

Prepa­ra­tion time 10 min­utes

For the pico de gallo 1 tomato, diced 1 white onion, diced 1 bunch ci­lantro, roughly chopped salt, to taste To serve 4 to 6 Pismo clams 4 to 6 limes, juiced ketchup, to taste hot sauce, to taste

2 av­o­ca­dos, thinly sliced

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