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Almejas Al Vapor at The Mission

March 19, 2010

Almejas Al Vapor

peruvian clam stew + rock shrimp + chorizo + pan de yucca + aji amarillo + roast corn (the plus signs on the menu are a nice touch).

As listed on the Arizona Republic’s 50 Best dishes in Phoenix. Yeah I had to try this.  I must admit it was good!  A great mix of creamy broth, roasted corn and clams.  A terrific marriage of flavors!

I have dined at the Mission on numerous occasions.  They sell themselves as nuevo latin cuisine, however I feel they are a solid representation on upscale traditional Scottsdale dining.  Thomas Keller trained Chef, Matt Carter, is doing a terrific job illustrating to both locals and tourists alike that Scottsdale / Phoenix is more than just kitschy southwest style food.  Carter has put forth efforts in conquering french cuisine with Zinc Bistro, Asian fusion with nine 05 and latin with the Mission.  He does all of them well.  The Mission has it all with good eats, a spectacular outdoor patio, and indoor atmosphere, replete with a translucent salt block kitchen wall.  Carter really created an atmosphere that diners want to be a part of. 

His award-winning soup/appetizer titled Almejas al Vapor is definitely great.  But also be certain to try the Pork Belly Pibil.  A lot of great chefs are offering pork belly these days,  a very undervalued cut of meat.  Not only because it is a rather inexpensive cut that they can make a buck on, but because under the right slow cooked or braised preparation it is heaven to eat.  The perfect combination of succulent pork fat and lean meat with just the right amount of citrus, aciote/annatto seeds, and allspice make s a great first course.  Also worth trying is The Mission’s Puerco Porchetta.   A spectacular slow cooked pork shoulder roulade stuffed with chorizo, rosemary and cojita cheese.  Make certain to ask for a moist middle cut.

Below is the award-winning recipe for Almejas al Vapor 


Courtesy: Arizona Foothills Magazine

Almejas Al Vapor
1 lb. Manila clams
1-2 Shallots, shaved
2-3 Cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 oz. Extra virgin olive oil
6 oz. Spanish chorizo, peeled and
sliced 1/8-inch thick on a bias
6-8 oz. Rock shrimp
6-8 oz. Peruvian potatoes, cut
into batons and blanched
1 T Aji amarillo (add more for extra spice)
1-2 T Cajeta (can substitute
sweetened condensed milk)
2-3 Cloves of roasted garlic
1-2 C White wine
1-2 Sprigs of oregano
1 C Cream
2 C Milk
2 C Clam juice or chicken stock

In a large sauce pot, heat oil until just before smoke; add shallots, garlic and cook two to three minutes. Add the clams and cover with white wine. Cover the pot with lid until clams open. Strain the clams; cool and separate the meat. Reserve the liquid and reduce by half. Add cream and reduce by half. Add aji amarillo, cajeta, oregano, milk and stock. Bring to a boil and reduce until consistent. Add the rock shrimp and cook for two minutes. Add potatoes, chorizo and clams; adjust seasoning and serve. Serves six.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. mom2 permalink
    March 24, 2010 6:42 am

    That place looks charming as does the meal you described…well, before you got into the pork bellies…. maybe my treat over Easter weekend???


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