An easy starter that utilises two defining ingredients of Northern Ireland
12 razor clams
4 rashers of guanciale
1 shallot, finely chopped
150ml dry cider
2 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp fresh dulse seaweed, chopped
Micro celery, to garnish
Remove the meat from the razor clams—it should come away with the gentlest of prompting—and trim them so you only have the white flesh. Keep the shells for the presentation of the finished dish.
Cook the guanciale in a dry frying pan until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper then chop. Add the shallot to the hot rendered fat. Cook until golden, then add the cider. Bring to the boil and add the clams. Cover with a lid and cook for 1 min.
Remove the clam meat and chop. Boil the remaining juices to reduce by half, then add the cream. Whisk in the butter a little at a time, until incorporated. Check the seasoning, then mix in the clam meat.
Spoon the clam meat into the shells. Dot the guanciale and dulse on top and garnish with micro celery.
ALTERNATIVE Nori or wakame could be used here instead of the dulse. Pancetta would be a good substitute for the guanciale.
Recipe: Paula McIntyre
Image: Kim Lightbody