Luis Arce Mota is the chef-owner behind the new homestyle Mexican, Ofrenda Cocina Mexicana (113 7th Avenue South), set to open this Wednesday.
With this new venture, he hopes to demonstrate that Mexican cuisine goes beyond the realm of nachos, tacos, and quesadillas. His menu is built around the flavors of Mexico’s many peppers, but has influences from around the world. He shares his recipe for Almejas en Salsa Verde con Chile Serrano (clams in green salsa with serrano chilis).
“I have a little experience of different cuisines. I picked up a little bit of Italian, and trained in France,” says Mota. “For this dish, I added white wine to the tomatillo for acidity, the chorizo is Spanish, and the beans were a Portuguese influence.”
Almejas en Salsa Verde con Chile Serrano
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb Manila clams, scrubbed
2 tbsp diced white onions
2 oz chorizo (Spanish cured pork sausage)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup tomatillo-serrano salsa (recipe to follow)
4 tbsp cooked cannellini beans
1 tsp butter
salt and pepper, to taste
In a saute pan over medium heat, heat up the olive oil. Add the clams, stirring for 1 minute.
Add the onion and chorizo, and cook together with the clams for 1 minute. Stir in the white wine. Add the tomatillo-serrano salsa, and stir until clams have opened (about 7 minutes).
Stir in the cannellini beans and butter. Season with salt and pepper.
5 tomatillos (without the husks)
1 serrano pepper (or 2, if you prefer more spice)
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp red onion
1 tbsp cilantro
salt, to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.