Chopped Asparagus with Pancetta & Garlic

I got a lost on the way to meet a couple friends for lunch yesterday (long story), so by the time I finally arrived, the appetizers were already being placed on the table.

This restaurant offers up a variety of vegetable appetizers, and they selected a few simple ones--broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans--each prepared in a different way.

It was the kind of thing I probably wouldn't have thought to order myself, which I loved, because it reminded me just how impressive good, in-season vegetables can be when prepared well.

At home, I've been doing things with vegetables a lot lately. It always happens around this time. After months of cold, dreary weather and not much in terms of seasonal offerings, the burst of Spring warmth gets me excited to be back in the kitchen.

Asparagus, chopped into small-ish pieces, and sauteed with pancetta, garlic and chilies is a new favorite of mine. I cook them briefly--just until a bit tender, then scoop onto a platter and shower with fresh lemon zest and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

I love this on its own as a side, or topped with a fried egg or two for breakfast (or any meal, actually). You can also toss this with cooked pasta or rice for an easy veggie entree.

Simple, yet satisfying, because that's what Spring cooking is all about!

Loved this recipe? Here are three other vegetable recipes you might like:

And let's connect so you can find out the next time I post! Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates.

Thanks so much for reading

Chopped Asparagus with Pancetta and Garlic Recipe
Serves 4, as a side

2 large bunches asparagus
3 oz pancetta or bacon, diced (about 1/3 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes + more for garnish
Kosher salt and black pepper
Zest of 1/2 lemon, freshly grated
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese

Trim the woody ends off the asparagus, then chop what remains into about 1" pieces.

In a heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, cook the pancetta or bacon until the fat is rendered. Add the garlic and saute for one minute until fragrant. Raise the heat and add the asparagus pieces and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes or until pieces are slightly tender, but still bright green.

Serve on a large platter, then sprinkle with the fresh lemon zest and parmesan. Sprinkle with a few additional chile flakes before serving.

Savory Ramp & Cheddar Muffins

For the past two mornings, Eugene has forgotten to bring his savory breakfast muffin to work. I baked him a batch on Monday, wrapped them up individually, and then put them in the fridge for him to grab-and-go.

Except that he's just been go-ing, without grab-ing.

If you decide to make these Savory Ramp and Cheddar Muffins, I urge you not to make the same mistake. These wonderfully buttery little cakes are packed with loads of freshly grated cheddar cheese and lightly sauteed ramps, and are WAY too good to leave behind.

Ramps are a wonderful thing, but they're rare and only available for about 5 minutes a year, so please feel free to substitute scallions, chives (leave them uncooked) or even sauteed shallots. A touch of something onion-y is all you need!

For the cheese in my muffins, I used a gorgeous Alehouse Cheddar from Vermont Farmstead--a small company that produces some truly beautiful cheese and crackers. They're providing some of the snacks for the Memorial Day Culinary Retreat I'm co-hosting later this month, and were kind enough to send me some to play around with while I plan my menu. This sharp cheddar with just a touch of beer flavor is fantastic in all kinds of savory dishes. These muffins, of course, but also grilled cheese sandwiches and soup.

If you get a chance to try out their products, I highly recommend them! (BTW, we have a few open spots left in our retreat, so perhaps you should join us?)

Oh and back to these muffins. These come together quickly--no need for a mixer--and can be enjoyed hot out of the oven with tons of butter, or later on at room temperature. I called them breakfast muffins, but they honestly would be amazing served along with a soup and salad, or in place of a roll with dinner. I'm also tempted to split one in half and add a bit of ham for a muffin sandwich.

(Yeah. That's a thing.)

Loved this recipe? Here are four other savory bread recipes you might like:

And let's connect so you can find out the next time I post! Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates.

Thanks so much for reading! 

Savory Ramp & Cheddar Muffins
Yields 6 giant or 12 standard muffins

1 tablespoon butter
2 bunches ramps, trimmed and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups--substitute scallions)
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard powder (or use 1 tablespoon dijon mustard)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese (if you can find a beer cheddar, use that!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 12-cup muffin pan (or a giant 6-cup muffin pan).

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add ramps. Saute for 2-3 minutes, just until slightly wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, broth, olive oil, sugar, salt, and mustard. Add flour and baking powder and stir gently until evenly combined.

Fold in grated cheese and cooked ramps.

Divide into prepared muffin pan, and bake about 20 minutes, or until puffed up, golden around the edges, and a tester inserted in center comes out clean.

(Giant muffins will take about 5-7 minutes longer.)

Crispy Salty Roasted Baby Artichokes

I confess that as much as I love to eat artichokes, I've never really been entirely convinced that they're worth the fussy prep. I love to cook, but I'm admittedly kind of lazy in the kitchen, usually going for the easiest (but still from-scratch) option.

But the sudden burst of spring weather and produce has gotten me excited to play around with veggies I typically ignore.

Quite literally, actually. This is what happened when I was putting away groceries the other day...

Totally normal day around here.

When I finished making food art, I decided to tackle those adorable baby artichokes first, peeling and roasting them until crispy with a simple dressing of fresh lemon juice (lots of it!), olive oil (the good stuff!), salt, and chili flakes.

Roasted at high heat until super crisp, then served with a lemony mayo for dipping, they're a super snacky treat to enjoy this Spring. Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Absolutely perfect!

And for those of you who, like me, are loathe to tackle artichokes, you'll be pleased to know that the babies are a tiny bit less fussy. Simply peel off the outer leaves, cut through the ends (one quick swipe with the knife is enough), and then shave the stem down a bit.

No need to scrape out the fuzz, and the majority of the leaves are already tender enough that you can tackle the whole pile in about 5 or so minutes.

As I snacked my way through this salty, crunchy, spicy, tangy plate I was like, "yeah, OK. They're worth it."

Loved this recipe? Here are three other vegetable recipes you might like:

And let's connect so you can find out the next time I post! Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates.

Thanks so much for reading

Crispy Salty Roasted Baby Artichokes 
Serves 2-4 as an appetizer

8 baby artichokes
Extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt
Red pepper flakes

For dip
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 pinch red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove outer leaves of artichokes and use a knife to trim off the sharp ends. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the stems. Cut legnthwise in half and place in a bowl.

Toss prepared artichokes with a generous amound of olive oil, the juice of one whole lemon, and season with kosher salt and red pepper, to taste.

Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast 20 minutes, or until crispy and slightly charred.

Whisk together dip ingredients and serve along with hot artichokes.

Café con Leche Waffles

Can I tell you about one of my most favorite ingredients in the whole world?

It's instant coffee.

I seriously love this stuff so much. It's my go-to for adding amazing bold coffee flavor to cakes, cookies, frosting, ice cream, and even smoothies. Even just a tablespoon or so whisked into a recipe is enough to make it taste amazing.

And when combined with chocolate? Out. Of. This. World.

While you can, of course, brew yourself some coffee to use in your baking, I love using instant coffee granules because they dissolve instantly on contact, adding plenty of flavor without diluting the ingredients or changing the volume of liquids. It can also be used in marinades or as part of a rub on steaks or other cuts of meat before cooking, or shaken up with your favorite spirit for a fun cocktail.

As you might know, I've been working with Nestle and El Mejor Nido this spring to create a few fun and easy recipes using some of my favorite classic Nestle products. This month, I'm playing around with Nescafé Clásico to create the perfect Mother's Day recipe for the coffee-loving mamas in your life.

Inspired by my favorite way to drink my morning coffee, I added a few tablespoons of Nescafé granules to my go-to buttermilk waffles recipe, transforming them into the ultimate coffee-flavored waffles--aka Café con Leche waffles!

Rich and nutty coffee-flavored waffles are served topped with fresh and lightly sweetened whipped cream for that perfect balance of flavors. A few berries on the side and a generous drizzle of pure maple syrup, and mom will be one happy lady!

This easy coffee waffle batter comes together quickly--just whisk together the ingredients by hand (no mixer needed!) and then cook in your waffle maker according to your machine's instructions. The whole process takes only about 20 minutes, so you don't have to spend much time fussing in the kitchen before celebrating as a family.

Oh and as a tip? I like to make them in batches, keeping them on a rack while the rest cook so that the bottoms don't steam. (It's all about that crispy texture, after all!).

This recipe makes enough waffles for four, so if you have any leftovers, let them cool and then pop them into baggies to keep in the fridge or freezer. You can heat them up in a toaster for a super easy and delicious on-the-go breakfast the next day!

To help you get started on preparing this breakfast treat, I'm also giving away a $50 VISA gift card to cover ingredients.

To enter to win, leave a comment below telling me your favorite brunch dish.

Contest ends at 5PM EST on Monday, April 27th. US residents only. No purchase necessary. One winner will be randomly selected via, and notified via email.

For additional optional entries (leave a separate comment for each extra entry):

1. Follow me on Instagram (@alwaysalejandra) and leave a comment here saying you did.

2. Share this contest on Twitter, and leave a comment here saying you did. Sample text: "Giveaway! Enter to win a $50 VISA gift card from @nandita and @elmejornido:"

3. Share this contest on Facebook, and leave a comment here saying you did.
 4. Pin one of the images from this post to Pinterest, and leave a comment here saying you did.

This post is sponsored by Nestlé and For more great recipes and ideas, visit

Cafe con Leche Waffles Recipe
Serves 4

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons Nescafe (clasico) instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the whipped cream:
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Berries and pure maple syrup, for serving

Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, NESCAFE, vanilla, and melted butter until smooth.

Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture, and stir just until evenly combined and no dry spots remain (you may have a few small lumps, but that’s OK!)

Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions, placing on a cooling rack between batches to avoid steaming.

While waffles cook, whip the heavy cream, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and 1/8th teaspoon kosher salt until stiff peaks form.

Serve hot topped with the freshly whipped cream, berries, and maple syrup.

Avocado & Red Onion Salad

I do this really dumb thing every single time we order sushi. I think to myself that I'd like some kind of light and fresh salad to go with the sushi, so I go through the options and pick out an avocado salad.

I don't know why I do this. It's always overpriced--about $5 for what basically amounts to half of a mediocre avocado. And it always has some kind of weird too-sweet dressing on it.

I've even (stupidly. SO stupidly.) done this when I have a perfectly lovely and ripe avocado waiting in the kitchen. Like the act of getting up and slicing it is somehow more difficult than clicking a button on the Seamless homepage.

Ugh. I'll learn my lesson eventually, but I'm here today to tell you to do as I say, not as I do.

This is the avocado salad I'm really craving. And it takes minutes to make.

Less than that, even!

It's just beautiful ripe avocados layered with thinly sliced red onions, lime juice, olive oil, and a bit of salt.

That's it. So simple. So perfect. So easy.

No need to pay anyone else to make it for you.

This recipe originally appeared in my Puerto Rican Christmas Table eCookbook, but I decided to share it here because it's getting warmer and warmer days call for avocado salads all day long.

Loved this recipe? Here are three other vegetable recipes you might like:

And let's connect so you can find out the next time I post! Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates.

Thanks so much for reading

Avocado & Red Onion Salad
Serves 6

4 ripe Hass avocados
1/2 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 large lime, juiced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

Cut avocados in half, remove the pit, and cut in half again. Slide off the peel and slice lengthwise. Scatter avocado slices on a serving platter.

Top with sliced onions.

Drizzle with lime juice and olive oil. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with additional lime wedges.

Orange Cocoa Chip Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Growing up, classic coconut macaroons were a favorite in our house. We called them besitos de coco (coconut kisses), and enjoyed the chewy treats as often as possible. I've made several versions of them over the years, but these Orange Cocoa Chip Coconut Macaroon Cookies are definitely my new favorite.

With Easter just a few days away, I thought I'd share this simple recipe that you can whip up in less than half an hour. I've teamed up with Nestlé and this Spring to share a few fun and easy recipes featuring some of their products that I've used for years. First up is La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk, which is a favorite of mine for things like making homemade dulce de leche and (my favorite!) Christmas coquito.

While some macaroon recipes call for separating eggs and baking at super low temperatures, this easy recipe uses the condensed milk as well as a whole egg (no separating!) to both sweeten and bind the ingredients in a single step. It's a trick I hadn't tried before, but now that I have, I'm totally hooked!

Like a cross between a chewy chocolate chip cookie and a flaky coconut macaroon, these Orange Cocoa Chip Coconut Macaroon Cookies have a soft cookie-like base, and the equal-parts crunchy and chewy mound of coconut on top that one expects from a macaroon.

Honestly, they're kind of magical!

Fresh orange zest and a bit of cinnamon add wonderful flavor, while a generous handful of crunchy, raw cocoa nibs, give it that "chocolate chip" like flavor. (You can also use mini chocolate chips, if you prefer, though I love the crunch of the cocoa nibs.)

The trick to these cookies is to use both large flaky coconut chips, and ground dessicated coconut. When baked, the ground coconut creates the base, while the flaky chips mound up on top in a way that almost seems like magic.

(But it's not magic. It's baking science.)

This recipe makes about 20 or so cookies, depending on how big you scoop them, and they keep well for a few days so you can make them in advance. Also feel free to play around with the flavors! Substitute lemon or lime zest, add chopped nuts or dried fruit, or even drizzle a bit of chocolate on top after they're done baking!

They're so simple to make that you can make multiple variations and serve up a whole platter to your friends and family.

This post is sponsored by Nestlé and For more great recipes and ideas, visit 

Orange Cocoa Chip Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Yields about 20 cookies

1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (such as NESTLE LA LECHERA)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups ground desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
1/3 cup raw cocoa nibs
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, condensed milk, and vanilla extract.

Add the coconut, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt, and stir well to combine. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet, about 1 ½ inches apart.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until cookies are slightly toasted around the edges, bottom, and on top. Transfer cookies to a rack and let cool completely before serving.

Chocolate Honey Layer Cake with Salted Honey Flour Buttercream & Raw Cocoa Nibs

Chocolate Honey Cake with Honey Buttercream & Raw Cocoa Nibs
My husband Eugene is in a cake club at work. He and a group of other guys in his office pool together money that they then spend on monthly birthday cakes celebrating the guys in the group. The bakery options near his office are kind of limited, so they usually end up buying cakes from a popular financial district bakery called Financier, cleverly named for both the delicious little golden cakes, and their Wall Street clientele.

This month, the birthday boy (David) announced that he was tired of the options at Financier, and so Eugene offered to bring a cake from one of the bakeries in our neighborhood.

While he asked me about the options near us, I noted that if he wanted, I could actually just make them the cake myself. David agreed and sent over a short list of his favorite flavors, including chocolate and honey.

I decided to make a chocolate honey layer cake with honey flour buttercream.

The flour-based frosting is actually one that I'd been wanting to try for a while, and the thing that inspired the recipe. It's kind of an amazing thing as the process is totally different than regular buttercream. Instead, a flour-thickened pudding is made as the base, then cooled and whipped with butter until light and fluffy.

The result is a a super creamy and buttery frosting that's much less sweet than the typical powdered sugar concoctions. Another benefit of the flour buttercream is that it lets you play around with different flavors and infusions.

The original recipe for this honey buttercream came from the Baked cookbook, but, with only 3 tablespoons of honey, I didn't think their recipe had enough honey flavor. I ended up substituting 1/2 cup of the sugar with more honey just to make it

Whatever the word, the results are awesome! If you're a honey-flavored dessert lover, you'll be very much into this frosting.

One other thing I noted is that the flavor actually tastes best at room temperature, so if you refrigerate it, let it warm up on a counter for at least 2-3 hours before serving. It honestly makes a WORLD of a difference.

I also urge you not to skip the finishing touches! The crunchy cocoa nibs work beautifully against the honey flavors of the buttercream and the sprinkle of flaky salt (I love maldon) gives it an added level of flavor reminiscent of salted caramel.

All around, seriously good stuff!

Loved this recipe? Here are three other birthday cake ideas you might like:

And let's connect so you can find out the next time I post! Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates.

Thanks so much for reading!

Chocolate Honey Cake with Salted Honey Buttercream & Raw Cocoa Nibs
Makes 1 10-inch layer cake (12-15 servings)

Cake recipe adapted from Epicurious. Buttercream recipe adapted from Baked Expolorations via O Magazine

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cocoa nibs and flaky sea salt, for garnish


Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and line two 10" round baking pans with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together chocolate chips and coffee. Set aside.

Whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined.

In the base of an electric mixer beat eggs for 3 minutes until light. Mix in the honey, melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients and gently mix in just until completely combined. Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake about 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Cool layers in pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely.

Make the frosting:
In a heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar and flour. Add the honey, milk, and heavy cream, and set over medium heat, stirring until ingredients are smooth and evenly combined. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring continuously until sauce thickens and becomes pudding-like (about 12 minutes). Lower heat to low and continue to stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Let cool completely at room temperature (about 1 hour).

Once the flour mixture is cool, place the 1 1/2 cups butter in a stand mixer and beat until light and creamy. With the mixer still running, slowly pour in all the flour mixture and continue to beat until it is fluffy and smooth. Add the honey and beat a bit longer until evenly incorporated.

Frost the cooled cakes with the honey buttercream, then decorate the tops with cocoa nibs and garnish with flaky salt. Serve the cake room temperature or store, covered, in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator at least 2-3 hours before serving so cake has a chance to reach room temperature (it tastes best at room temp!). Cake can be left unrefrigerated for up to about 6 hours.
Note: Both cake and frosting can be made in advance and refrigerated. Let frosting come back to room temperature before assembling cake.

Spicy Chorizo Clam Chowder

Last weekend, Eugene and I met my brother for brunch at a restaurant here in the city. It was kind of late in the day, and freezing outside, so as soon as I spotted clam chowder on the menu, I was sold. It was listed under the lunch entrees for $13, so I figured it would be a large-ish, hearty bowl, and didn't order anything else except a small appetizer of toast with fresh ricotta.

But when the food arrived, I was confused.

The bowl the waiter gave me was filled with the TINIEST amount of soup I have ever seen in my life. It was about 1/2-inch in depth and covered with a handful of oyster crackers. I put my spoon in, and the soup barely came halfway up the spoon.

There were seriously more crackers than soup.

Spicy Chorizo Clam Chowder
Both Eugene and my brother were equally shocked, leaning over to peer into my bowl and wondering if perhaps I'd ordered something from the appetizer menu (there was only one soup listing, and it was under entrees) or if it was one of those things where they give you the bowl with the fillings and then pour the broth on top (it was not one of those things).

Eugene mused that perhaps they were running out of soup and rationing it.

What made it worse is that the soup (all three tablespoons of it) was delicious! Creamy and smoky, with tiny perfectly cut cubes of potatoes and bacon. There were only 2 clams in it (literally), but at least they were lovely and chewy.

Spicy Chorizo Clam Chowder
Gone in less than a minute, I spent the rest of the meal thinking about how I definitely needed more soup.

Hence, this Spicy Chorizo Clam Chowder recipe!

Let me clarify that this is NOT a classic, thick New England clam chowder.

This is something a bit looser and brothier, with a smoky and salty briny broth, loaded with chunks of clams, chorizo, celery, and (my own twist) rutabaga.

Spicy Chorizo Clam Chowder
It's still creamy, but it isn't thickened in any way with flour or cornstarch and the lack of potatoes helps keep it a bit looser. You can use potatoes if you prefer, but I honestly love the lightness of rutabaga in this otherwise hearty soup.

I'm not quite fully over the trauma of the world's tiniest bowl of soup, but this spicy generous chowder definitely did help a bit.

Spicy Chorizo Clam Chowder
Loved this recipe? Here are three other spicy soup recipes you might like:

And let's connect so you can find out the next time I post! Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, become a fan on Facebook, or sign up to receive my once-a-week e-mail updates.

Thanks so much for reading!

Spicy Chorizo & Clam Chowder
Serves 4-6

4 pounds clams (such as manila or littleneck), shells scrubbed under cold running water
1/3 pound Spanish style chorizo, diced
2 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and diced (or use 2 large russet potatoes)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley and/or scallions, for garnish

Combine the rinsed clams with 2 cups cold water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and let steam until the clams open—about 8 minutes. Remove all the open clams, then re-cover and continue to cook any that haven’t opened for an additional 1-2 minutes. If they still don’t open, discard, but reserve the cooking liquid.

Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or other fabric, discarding any solids and reserving the remaining liquid.

Remove the clams from their shells, and place in a bowl covered with a damp paper towel (this keeps them from drying out).

Combine the chorizo and bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and sauté until bacon is rendered and chorizo is slightly crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and chorizo, leaving the fat in the pot. (If your bacon isn't very fatty, you may need to add a teaspoon or two of oil).

Add the celery, onions, garlic, paprika, and rutabaga, and sauté 2-3 minutes, just to soften them a bit. Add the strained clam liquid + 1 1/2 cups of water, and cook until the rutabaga is tender (about 10-15 minutes).

Add the milk, cream, chorizo and bacon, and let simmer gently for 10 minutes (do not let it boil or the milk will curdle). Stir in the clams, and let simmer an additional five minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with parsley and scallions before serving.