Welcome to Press Play, where we ask chefs to share one of their favorite recipes, as well as a playlist to listen to while you’re cooking it. The prep and cooking time should match the duration of the music (but don’t feel bad if the tunes stop before you’re done).
DEVINE AND MAHER’S PLAYLIST BREAKDOWN
Devine: “I like to have Deanna’s songs top mine sometimes, and when it comes to musically objectifying clams, she is the boss. The idea was to come up with a dish that would feed a bunch of your friends in a cozy, fire-a-roaring beach house sometime in mid-November. (Feel free to substitute your apartment.) Maybe it is raining a little outside, and it is for sure grey and cold. These clams and D’s song list are going to soothe your soul. The only rule: Cook and dance with love, sass, and sexiness.”
1) “Back and Forth” by Aaliyah: Aaliyah is smoooooth. It’s a good way to start the process of cooking this recipe: swaying around the kitchen, collecting your ingredients… getting ready.”
2) “Rosa” by Grimes: “I love this song because Grimes really gives you a lot to work with—good stuff to bang away to while prepping.”
3) “Running up the Hill” by Chromatics: “This is LOVE, which is what clams need to open up to, love and understanding. Something Kate Bush knows a lot about.”
4) “More Than This (Live)” by Electrelane: “Deanna’s #1 band. A song to put your thoughts into.”
5) “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac: “STEVIE. Does she like clams? Let’s find out?”
6) “Your Woman” by White Town: “It’s time to get things going here. Prep is done, clams are open, and we have some questions that need answers.”
7) “My Love for You” by ESG: “ESG brings the drums and bass, and in the kitchen there isn’t much better to get you pumped. It’s usually a great idea to grab some kitchen tools and fake a drum kit here.” [Listen here]
8) “All Night Long” by Mary Jane Girls: “All night long—need we say more?”
9) “Simultaneously” by JD Samson & MEN: “This song is a prime example of doing many things at once, simultaneously. Do it with confidence, efficiency, and make it good, just like this jam.”
10) “When I Think of Your” by Janet Jackson: “Let Janet start to soothe you a bit, we are coming to the end here.”
11) “Supersonic” by JJ Fad: “Obviously, what we are making is supersonic. Embrace it.”
12) “Baltimore” by Nina Simone: “Nina reaches right into souls and pulls out the good stuff. This is what we should be doing now, making it tasty and rich and full of life. That should be a show: ‘Plating with Nina.'”
13) “California Paradise” by The Runaways: “We all love California and girls.”
THE RECIPE: LITTLENECK CLAMS
Yields: 4 Servings
2 pounds littlenecks or cherrystones
3 tablespoons butter
10 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup cheap beer (or white wine. or vermouth)
2 cups cream
Dash of red chili flake
Salt and pepper
In a pot large enough to fit all the clams, start the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is tender and starts to brown a little. Add the beer and cook the liquid down by half. Add the cleaned clams and cover with a lid. Cook until the clams begin to open. With some tongs, you can pull out the clams as they open and distribute among 4 bowls.
Now that all the clams are out, add the cream. Cook the liquid down for about 10 minutes on medium high until the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove pot from heat, add a bunch of roughly chopped parsley, red chili flake, a little black pepper, and salt if it is needed.
Ladle the sauce over the clams and serve with a lemon wedge or two and bread.