Artichoke Confit with Almonds, Manila Clams, and Vermouth
- 4 large artichokes
- 2 lemons
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 bottle dry vermouth
- 8 ounces clam juice
- 20 manila clams, washed and scrubbed
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 8 leaves flat parsley
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 4 pearl onions, peeled and sliced
- 12 chives, minced
- 1/2 cup slivered and toasted almonds
For the artichokes, fill a bowl with water, and squeeze in the juice of half the lemon. Take each artichoke, and remove all outer leaves, and discard. Slice the stem of the artichokes down to 1-inch length, and using a knife, peel away all the outer skin. Rub generously with the remaining lemon. Cut the remaining leaves at the bottom of the base, exposing the hairy choke. With a spoon, scoop out the choke, and discard. Rub the entire surface of the artichoke with lemon, and place in the water. Repeat this process for all the artichokes. Working quickly, slice each artichoke into 4 quarters, and return the pieces to the water. Set aside.
Place 2 cups of vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan, and heat over medium heat.
To make the vinaigrette, add the vermouth to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced by 3/4 (the alcohol will probably catch on fire, but do not worry). Add the clam juice and continue to reduce until mixture equals 1 cup. Add the clams, cover pot, and steam until barely open.
Immediately remove the clams to a small bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth, rinse pan, and return liquid to pan. Add the shallots, and reduce until mixture has thickened slightly, about 1/4 cup. Add the olive oil, tomatoes, a drop of lemon juice, chopped parsley, and set aside in a warm spot.
Remove clams from shells, and season them lightly with salt. Set aside.
Drain the artichokes and add them to the oil, and cook gently for 10 minutes. They will bubble vigorously as the moisture evaporates. The artichokes will be done when golden and slightly wrinkled (test one to be sure). Remove from oil, season with salt, and set aside.
To serve, place a small pile of artichokes in the center of four plates. Place 5 clams around each pile, and spoon the vinaigrette over them. Sprinkle top with toasted almonds, and garnish with a few drops of lemon juice, sliced pearl onions, and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy Dennis Leary, Rubicon