Every year I stick to a the Catholic tradition of not eating meat on Fridays during Lent, and every Friday during Lent I complain about it.  As much as I love eggs and seafood and other meatless items on a regular basis, when meatless Fridays hit, I crave bacon and burgers.  Every week I am tempted!  But I am proud to say that every week I stay strong and do not give into the temptation.  I know some folks actually fast on Fridays, but I did not grow up with that tradition and don’t really feel the need to fast.  I don’t follow many of the other Lenten traditions but I do stick to meatless Fridays.  I know as a Catholic, I am not supposed to pick and choose which rules to follow, but I’m not perfect and my intentions are good.  In fact I’m so fanatical about meatless Fridays during Lent that Hubbo even feels compelled to observe meatless Fridays, even though he has less of a connection to his faith than I do.

Today is Good Friday, the last meatless Friday of the season.  I worked from home today, so I had some time to cook dinner tonight.  I was going to throw together some kind of pasta and veggie thingie, until Hubbo called and requested something he has never requested before.  Linguine and clam sauce.  I was in shock.  Hubbo does not eat seafood, and only eats baked clams twice a year.  I, on the other hand, love seafood.  In the last couple of years, I’ve become obsessed with linguine and clams and order it a lot at restaurants, but have never made it at home.  So who am I to say no to a request from my wonderful Hubbo?  Time to get my clam on!

The amazing Anne Burrell

I have to say I was quite disappointed that my cookbooks did not have a good traditional recipe for linguine and clam sauce.  Not Lidia.  Not Mario.  Not Silver Spoon.  So back to the internet and my ol’ reliable Food Network.  I found a traditional looking recipe that also looked super easy by one of my new fave chefs, Anne Burrell.  She’s certainly not new to the culinary world, but I only heard of her when she came out with her own show on Food Network, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.  She has crazy hair and says crazy things and makes crazy yummy noises as she cooks.  She scared me at first, but now I’ve grown to love her!  She’s an awesome female that can cook!

I took a drive over to the local fish monger to pick up 5 dozen littleneck clams.  I had to write that sentence just so I could use the word “monger.”

Anyhoo, I followed Anne’s recipe to the letter, except that I took all the clams out of the shell.  Anne’s recipe says to keep half the clams in the shell for presentation. I will admit I do very rarely cook seafood at home so I was nervous about cooking the clams wrong or not cleaning them properly.  A gritty sandy clam can ruin your whole meal.

Closed . . .

Open!

Anne also adds one cup grated Parmesan to the recipe (optional) and of course for me, the cheese was a no no.  The topic of cheese and seafood has actually become quite controversial, as most old-school traditional chefs do not believe the two should ever be married.  The younger generation of chefs tends to throw this rule out of the window.  Hubbo throws grated cheese on all pasta, seafood or not.

So how was it?  Fantastic!  Anne’s recipe was fool proof and this fool did a pretty good job.  There was no salt or pepper in the entire recipe and it was perfectly seasoned.  I could not believe how good it came out.  It was restaurant quality, if I can brag for a minute.  Ok, I’m done.

Delicious!

And to top off a great meal, Hubbo brought home macarons from Payard’s new location on Houston Street.  Poor guy, he was expecting coconut concoctions and was possibly disappointed.  I’m sorry I forgot to take photos of all the macarons in the box, but Hubbo ate one and I was halfway through one before I remembered.  His was Oreo and mine was chocolate.  Considering macarons are like the Oreos of France, I find it funny that they actually make an Oreo macaron.  Those crazy ironic French!

One is Coffee and one is PB&J but I can't tell which one is which!

At least I remembered to take a photo of the box!

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