Red Chile Pesto Clams

Course : Clams
Serves: 4
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60 medium clams
12 medium ancho chilies -- dried
12 medium New Mexico red chiles -- dried
1/2 cup pine nuts
10 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons oregano
2 teaspoons oregano Mexican -- roasted
1 medium zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil -- extra virgin
1 medium juice of 2 limes
5 cups fish stock -- or clam juice
12 sprigs coriander

Preparation / Directions:

Servings: 4 * The large garlic cloves should be roasted and peeled. Scrub the clams and discard any open ones. Clams that have a strong odor or are heavy (indicating that they contain sand) are likely to be dead and should also be discarded. Preheat the oven to 350F Roast the dried chiles in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, for 4 to 5 minutes, turning frequently to avoid burning. Remove the stems and seeds and place the chiles in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over them, cover, and let sit until they are very soft, about 40 minutes. Roast the pine nuts in the oven for about 8 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Place the chiles, roasted garlic, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and oregano in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and blend thoroughly. Add the pine nuts and process until coarsely chopped. Season to taste with lime juice. Place the clams in a large pan, over medium-high heat, with the fish stock or clam juice. When the clams open, remove them from the cooking liquid. Reduce the liquid by half, then whisk in the chile pesto. To serve, divide clams, evenly between four soup bowls, pour the pesto mixture over them, and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve immediately.

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