Don't worry, I haven't been looting from work. Promise!
You see - as I explained back in November when I wrote about the pleasure of working with foodies - at Comerç 24 we really hate to throw anything away or (even more sinfully) not make the most out of what we have. For the guy at the top it's money down the drain, but for the people on the front line who are passionate about food and work with it every day it's much more than that - it's a missed opportunity to create something new.
Putting spare oysters to good use (click for more)
We use these berberechos in our version of Yakisoba, a dish we've taken quite a distance from its traditional Sino-Japanese roots. Besides the basic 'stir fry' element of the dish, our version also contains razor clams, a julienne of nori and mandarin segments that we caramelise a la plancha. A few Saturday nights back, a slight misjudgement in food ordering meant that Cynthia was still left with half a bag of cockles when service had finished. They weren't exactly on their last legs like the poor oysters above, but we're a very strict kitchen and wouldn't have dreamt of using them come Tuesday lunchtime.
I'm a big fan of cockles and so when these babies were raffled off I was quick to pounce as I knew exactly what I was going to do with them. Way back in December 2006 I wrote about the virtues of cooking shellfish with Amaretto, a post that was recently read and appreciated by a certain self-confessed Amaretto addict. Well, Helen of Food Stories will be glad to know that I've been at it again - albeit this time with a slightly more refined approach.
I started by melting a knob of butter in a pan to which I added some short grain rice (which by the way is by far the most commonly used rice here in Catalunya). I lightly fried the rice for ten or twenty seconds and then added some salt and a whole can of coconut milk. The idea behind this was along the lines of making a coconut "rice pudding", the texture and creaminess of which would complement the salty-sweet combination of cockles and Amaretto.