Took some time to cook again on Sunday. Had anchovies in the pantry and capers in the fridge. Time for clams and mussels, of course! Seriously, best mussels that I've made yet. Also learned that if you soak clams and mussels in clod water for 20 minutes with a couple teaspoons of corn meal, they spit out all the sand and grit. Nice! Here's the step by step (with an instructional video above):

  • Start by slicing up some shallots. You could use regular red onions but the shallots take it to the next level.
  • Chop up four cloves of garlic
  • A handful of fresh Italian parsley
  • A half tin of anchovies
  • White wine
  • Capers

- Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Make sure the pan has a cover as you're going to steam the final product!

- Throw in the sliced shallots. Low heat!!

- Add salt and pepper.

- Chop up a hot pepper - yes, with seeds! Throw it in.

- Obviously before you get to this point in the recipe, get a slice of chorizo about 1/2 inch thick. Chop the chorizo into bite sized chunks and add to the hot oil.

- Chop up the anchovies and throw 'em in!

- The last two things in the pan should be the capers and garlic. You don't want to burn the garlic! Let it cook for about a minute then deglaze the pan with white wine (about a cup). Add in the parsley.

- Let it simmer on low heat.

- Rinse the mussels thoroughly to get all the corn meal off and add them to the pan and cover. Turn up the heat to get a good steam going and when they are all open, you're ready to eat! Throw away the ones that don't open. Really.

- For the clams, I made a much simpler broth that you may want to sip after you've eaten the clams...or just sop it up with some great hard crust Italian bread.

- Just saute shallots, garlic, hot pepper and chorizo in olive oil. Deglaze with white wine, turn up the heat and steam 'em till they open. Awesome.

Wine and bread accompany the protein focused meal and you've got a balanced dinner. I also served it with small red potatoes on the side.

That's easy. Cut up the potatoes into bite sized pieces. Boil till soft. Drain. Add butter, salt and pepper and parsley. mix and enjoy!

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.

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