Pilarski Marsh Pot

31 03 2010

Well I had planned to continue detailing the dinner party menu. Yet as the saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men….After a night of no sleep, a day of harsh science, cold numbers, spreadsheets, balance sheets and business plans I was ready for an escape or a homicide. Fortunately for the sake of my still clean criminal conviction record (convicted? Well… no, never convicted…..) my good friend, poet Patrick Pilarski’s latest poetry book arrived like a refreshing Northern breeze. Check out Patrick here: Patrick M. Pilarski.  Book in hand I hoofed it down to the Wine Toad. The Toad is the alcoholic equivalent of Alice’s little white rabbit hole with a direct line into the Tea Party (the Mad Hatter one, not the political one).  Patrick writes versions of haiku and other poetry. Doc’s grasp of Haiku:

Oddly Constructed

With resolute imagery

Dreams beckon, Night falls

Well, I may not write them but I really enjoy reading a good haiku with a glass of vino– (and I know Chef E does as well-another talented poet and Chef!) who doesn’t? It makes me feel so left bank, so la rive gauche. I started to read the first series of poems, The Netley Marsh Poems. I was immediately taken away; I could smell the brackwater and see the images of pelicans and herons. Being who I am, I immediately started to visualize the delicious critters there as well. Clams and Mussels in white wine; it can be so good but often it is so insipid.  Yet since I have access to these little marsh treasures, I set out to make a marsh meal worthy of my friend’s literary oeuvre. So, with all due respect here’s the Pilarski Marsh Pot, which you must serve with hot grilled bread slathered with aioli.

  • 2 Tbsp shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel (optional)
  • 1 piece lemon grass
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 1tsp finely chopped hot pepper
  • 1/3 cup seafood or light chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • Clams and mussels
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Grilled Bread and aioli (see previous aioli recipe)

In a large pot or sautoir heat some olive oil and lightly sauté the shallot. Add the garlic (fennel if adding), herbs and hot pepper (but not the parsley). Cook for about 30 seconds in the oil. Add the stock, wine and shellfish. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the shellfish open, indicating they are done. Remove the shellfish and place in a bowl. Remove the herb sprigs and lemon grass and discard. Bring the remaining sauce to a boil and reduce by half so it thickens slightly. Reduce the heat, add the butter and pour over the shellfish. Garnish with lemon juice and parsley. Serve with aioli slathered bread. I also recommend serving this with a helping of Huge Blue, Patrick’s book-go getcha some haiku.

The Clams and Mussels/ Season'd with wine summer kiss'd...

...Most Nobly Enjoy'd




4 responses

31 03 2010

looks delicious stay sane you must be swamped setting up the practice

1 04 2010

Already crossed that bridge long ago, LOL!

1 04 2010

Sorry to hear about losing your friend. I lost a good friend who helped me during my daughters passing, to cancer. Jo Ann was an inspiration to so many, I still think of her often.

So the move went well and your setting up practice? (I read on Rebecca’s comment?)

The dish looks good. I remember the first dish of Italian clams and mussels in a tomatoey broth, just so bread soppin good!

1 04 2010
Patrick Pilarski

Thanks Doc! I’m most honoured you made a concoction out of my little volume, and will do my best to use what culinary skills I have at my disposal to try out the Marsh Pot. I’ve never done shellfish at home before (my shocking confession), so it could be quite the adventure. All the best from the (now thawing) north!

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