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  • Melissa Orquiza

Clams with Potatoes, Chorizo & Red Pepper, Chorizo World, Villa- Lobos, de Medeiros, & John Fogerty

Clams with Potatoes, Chorizo, and Red Pepper. Perfect when you want a fancy meal to celebrate your week's wins (no matter how big or small).

Yay! Clams with Potatoes, Chorizo and Red Pepper Slideshow.

Clams with Potatoes, Chorizo & Red Pepper, Chorizo World, Villa- Lobos, de Medeiros, & John Fogerty

I'd like to think the world is such a communal and convivial place, we've all experienced culinary deja vu. One blatant memory as child and then later as an adult and was my "first" encounter with chorizo. While we lived in different states, in the 80's, there were some communities whose ethnic groceries encompassed everything. I remember eating a soup as a child, with sausage, potatoes, green beans, and cabbage flavored with aromatics and fish sauce, poured over rice as a comforting meal. As an adult reading a food magazine, I was intrigued by a brunch recipe calling for chorizo. Thinking I never had it, I sought it out, and fried it up. I realized when I took a bite, it was the same sausage I had in my childhood dish. The chorizo was a substitute due to our location and lack of an Asian market.

Like music, language, food and fashion, I wondered if the chorizo I had, which was similar to our longaniza, was probably an offshoot of merged Spanish and European influences that might have been transported during colonialism. Check this out. Literally, there are chorizos all over the world where Spanish and European settlers immigrated.

Chorizos from all over the world

Based on that knowledge, it jogged a favorite piece of mine by Victor Villa-Lobos. Composed for orchestra and chorus, the Chôros series are possibly his most famous works. My favorite is Chôros No. 10, with it's tripartite construction, nod to jazz and colloquial elements at the turn of the century, and most importantly, the rhythms and grooves that propel the piece starting at the 8 minute mark. What is interesting, is he weaves a popular song, "Yara" a schottish in a slower tempo, with lyrics written by a friend. A schottish is a country dance that originated in Bohemia.

Basically, you have a Brazilian composer, with elements of traditional folkloric Brazilian music that originated from Bohemia, with Spanish influences, a separatist construction like Stravinsky, along with elements of turn of the century classical and jazz fusion, ala Gershwin. Yes. Musical deja vu, indeed.

Here's the original schottish from Anacleto de Medeiros, influenced by the Bohemian country dance with Latin and Brazilian elements.

YARA......(schottish)...... Anacleto de Medeiros

Finally, one of my favorite choral and classical pieces. I normally do not strongly advocate pieces, but this is definitely a favorite.

Check out the grooves at 8:10

Choros No. 10 - Villa-Lobos - BBC Symphony Orchestra

And yes, like anything where art and commerce intersect, Villa- Lobo's poet friend, Catulo da Paixão Cearense the poet who wrote lyrics to the slower paced schottish, sued him for copyright infringement after selling all the rights to his poetry, in a state of financial distress. (Oh no! I think creatives all need to take business classes before embarking on being a professional.) Villa- Lobos' subsequent recordings included "neutral" texts. Nowadays, you'll hear the original verses. Hmmm... it's like the copyright squabble with Saul Zaentz and John Fogerty ... or our modern day, Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun. Interesting. You'd think cultural evolution would go hand and hand with business evolution. Like the last year, it's interesting how human nature will either come together or not, when stressed.

John Fogerty - The Old Man Down the Road HQ (official video)

I hope this makes you laugh, think, and hopefully, look at your circumstances and smile! I hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for reading! Xo, Melissa

Clams with Potatoes, Chorizo, and Red Peppers. Here's to your weeknight or weekend celebration.

Clams with Potatoes, Chorizo, and Red Pepper

from “The Essentials of Roasting” from Williams and Sonoma, Recipes and Techniques for Delicious Oven-Cooked Meals


30 Manila or Hard-Shelled Clams

1 small hello onion, coarsely chopped

1 red bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and coarsely chopped

3/4 lb. (375g) Yukon Gold or fingerling potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces (2.5 cm) pieces

6 oz (185 g) Spanish dry-cured chorizo, diced

3 Tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup (2fl oz/60 ml) reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat- leaf (Italian) parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees or 220 degrees Celsius.

  2. Scrub the clam well under cold running water. Discard any clams that do not close tightly to the touch.

  3. Combine the onion, bell pepper, potatoes, and chorizo in a heavy ovenproof frying pan with a lid. Drizzle with the oil ol, sprinkle with the thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables and chorizo well, then spread them out evenly in the pan.

  4. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables ad chorizo are sizzling and tinged with brown, 30-35 minutes.

  5. Remove the pan from the oven and quickly but carefully pour in the broth. Add the clams, spreading them in an even layer. Cover the pan and roast until the clams open, 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard any that failed to open. Sprinkle with the parsley.

  6. Spoon the clams, chorizo, vegetables, and sauce into warmed soup bowls or shallow past bowls. Serve at once.

#clamswithpotatoeschorizo&redpepper, @williamsandsonoma, @villalobos, #chorosno10villalobos, @demedeiros, @johnfogerty, #theoldmandowntheroad

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