Nestled atop the scenic bluffs of Santa Monica beach, with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, sits the elegant The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. Originally the site of a private mansion, it has served as a quiet retreat for guests since 1921. FIG Restaurant, located at this popular oceanfront destination, is an ingredient-driven bistro headed by Chef Yousef Ghalaini.
Named after Santa Monica’s most famous landmark—the 124–year-old Moreton Bay Fig tree—the restaurant places a strong emphasis on sustainability and indigenous ingredients. FIG features only the freshest local and organically grown ingredients straight from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.
Chef Ghalaini took some time away from his busy holiday preparations to share his recipe for Steamed Manila Clams with Tuscan Kale and Vadouvan.
The dish revolves around the clams cooked in sake and the sweet spices of the Vadouvan. The fun part of the dish is the potato puree at the bottom of the bowl that soaks up all the liquid from the clams and turns into the most satisfying dipping sauce for the grilled bread.
He chose to share this recipe with Ocean Home because he believes it is a great comfort food dish for the coast of California.
For more information on FIG Restaurant, visit figsantamonica.com.
Steamed Manila Clams with Tuscan Kale and Vadouvan
1 pound Manila Clams, cleaned from sand and grit
1 cup sake
2 cups loosely packed chopped Tuscan kale
Juice of 2 limes
2 oz olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 small knob of ginger (enough for 1 teaspoon chopped)
1 tablespoon Vadouvan spice
2 cups of your favorite mashed potatoes
Kosher salt to taste
Toasted baguette slices
In a small dutch oven or sauce pan with a lid (you’ll need something 12-15 inches wide), place olive oil, garlic and ginger and bring heat up to medium. Once garlic/ginger start picking up some color, place the vadouvan in the pot slowly to ensure the spices do not burn. Once the kitchen smells fragrant, add the clams, sake and kale and cover. Leave the clams to steam for about 5 minutes, and while this is happening prepare your serving bowl by placing the warm mashed potatoes on the bottom. Open the lid on the clams, season with kosher salt and lime juice, and begin transferring the clams into the bowl on top of the mashed potatoes. Place the remainder of the sauce on top of the clams and enjoy.
Image Credits: Courtesy of FIG Santa Monica.