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Lamb & Clams: Charleston Wine & Food Festival

You guys! This is the last recipe challenge in the Charleston Wine & Food Festival recipe contest!

For this challenge I received ground lamb from Border Springs Farm and clams from Rappahannock River Oysters.

I knew exactly what I was going to make!! Here's why: a few months ago, Cecilia and I visited the Union Market for the first time and ate at the Rappahannock Oysters Co.

While I had fresh oysters, more oysters and some bubbly, Cecilia tried a dish called lambs & clams. Not only did the dish look and smell great, but it also was delicious and was an amazing value for $14.

As far as I remember, the Rappahannock Oysters Co's Lambs & Clams had ground lamb in a spicy tomato sauce, white beans, clams, a bit of aioli on top and grilled slices of bread. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the recipe for the dish, but how hard could it be to recreate?

This past Sunday, when I was planning to make the dish, was a horrendously grey and misty day. I really tried to get my arse from the couch and go grocery shopping, but I just could not do it. So I had to improvise: instead of white beans I used chickpeas and instead of tomatoes I made a sauce from red peppers and chili in adobo. If I say so myself, I think my version of Lambs & Clams turned out pretty successful!

Lamb & Clams

Serves 4

2 red bell peppers
1 chili in adobo
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
1 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon aleppo pepper
15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained
16 clams

to serve
slices of bread, grilled and rubbed with garlic
lemon wedges
chopped dill
mayonnaise thinned with a bit of lemon juice and mixed with chopped dill


1. Char the bell peppers directly on the gas. Once their skin is black all over, put the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. After about ten minutes, remove the skin and discard the seeds and membranes.

2. In a food processor, puree the red bell peppers and the chili in adobo. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the diced onions. Saute for 10 minutes.

4. Add the ground lamb, salt and aleppo pepper and cook until the lamb is no longer pink.

5. Add the pepper/chili sauce and the chickpeas and simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Add the clams, cover and simmer until the clams have opened. Discard any of the clams that remained closed.

7. Serve the lamb on a bed of arugula and garnish with dill, a bit of lemony mayonnaise and grilled bread.

If you have leftover lamb and chickpea mixture, serve it the next day with pasta!

To check out what my competitors made, go visit their blogs {recipes will be posted on Wednesday}.

Peter @ A Cook Blog Lynda @ Taste Food Blog 
David @ eat drink RI
Gwen @ Bunkycooks
Heather @ Farmgirl Gourmet
Cecilia @ One Vanilla Bean
Vivek @ Vivek’s Epicurean Adventure


Zomppa said...

Now this is a combination I would not normally think about!

Heather Scholten said...

This looks like a bowl of hearty deliciousness Olga!! Yum. It's hard to believe it's the last challenge! {sigh} It's been fun cooking with you for the past 4 months!! Best of luck.

Cecilia said...

Gorgeous! Wish we could have exchanged bowls of our "lambs & clams." And you are completely right, serving the leftovers over pasta is the way to go! The roasted red pepper sauce sounds amazing.

Jessica said...

Nice recipe, love the photos and concept!