Photographs: Marvin Gapultos

I'm not much of a tequila drinker, but I always have a decent bottle on hand for marinating the likes of flank steak or chicken, for use in fajitas or quesadillas. But besides using tequila as a marinade, I've also found it useful for steaming open a pile of clams.

Before the clams are coaxed open, I first sizzle some Mexican chorizo sausage in a hot pan. In my experience, I've found that Mexican chorizo is good at two things: tasting awesome, and sticking to the bottom of the pan it's cooked in—which is where the tequila comes in handy. After transferring the cooked sausage from the pan, some tequila and lime juice is poured in and the crusty chorizo remnants stuck to the pan can be easily scraped away.

The fresh clams are added to the pan, a lid is clamped on, and in about 5 minutes, the bivalves pop open and release their briny juices. The cooked chorizo is stirred back into the pan and the sauce now emerging is something resembling a meat sauce for pasta, but is wholly comprised of chorizo sausage, tequila, and the liquid released from fresh clams. It is simultaneously spicy and meaty, briny and fresh, and brightened with the flavors of tequila and lime. And when the meaty sauce is poured over the steamed clams, you have a quick and easy surf-and-turf beer snack on your hands.

About the author: Marvin Gapultos is the author of the Filipino food blog, Burnt Lumpia. His first cookbook is due out in 2013. When he isn't cooking or writing about Filipino food, Marvin is usually enjoying a beer or cocktail, and thinking about what to eat with said beer or cocktail. You can follow him on Twitter @BurntLumpia.

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