Are you missing the coast these days? Our family can't wait to return to clamming for monster Razor clams, crabbing for Dungeness and enjoying the requisite trip to one of the local seafood joints for a coastal treat. For now, we stay put.
Trying your hand with clams at home is an easy way to appreciate the coast. Ask your local purveyor to pick the freshest ones available, and be sure to keep them chilled and eat as soon as possible.
If you don't have all the ingredients, read on after the recipe for substitutions. Stay clam and cook on! (See what I did there? Very punny...argh)
We usually figure 1 pound per person.
1 pound clams (We've used little neck, Manila, Cherrystone)
2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
1/4 C minced, fresh Italian parsley
Pinch of Kosher Sea Salt
Pinch of dried chili flakes (optional)
1 heaping Tbsp of THAT'S GOOD GARLIC!
3/4 C White Wine (Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris or Chardonnay)
3/4 C Chicken, vegetable or mushroom broth
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon, slice the other half for garnish
In a pot or skillet with a lid, melt butter and add parsley, salt, chili flakes and THAT'S GOOD GARLIC! over medium heat. Add wine or broth and bring to a boil. Add lemon juice and clams; stir and cover. Depending individual stove temps, steam clams 5-8 minutes. Check after 5 minutes, and every minute after, keeping the lid on between checks. All clams should be open in less than 8 minutes. DON'T eat any clams that haven't opened. Add lemon zest and stir. Ladle the little gems into a bowl and pour broth over the clams. During the cooking process, some clams may slip out of their shell into the broth. I consider those the chef's "reward" for cooking.
We love this with some crusty warm bread to sop up the broth. For garlic toast, lightly toast bread and smear THAT'S GOOD GARLIC! on one side, return to heat and watch until it's toasted to your liking.
Unsalted butter: If you only have salted butter, omit the salt when melting butter.
Parsley: Substitute a generous Tbsp of dried parsley.
Chili flakes: No chili flakes? No problem! Add a dash of Tabasco or Crystal Hot Sauce.
THAT'S GOOD GARLIC!: WHAT? NO! You don't want to be out! Mince enough fresh garlic to equal a little more than 1Tbsp.
For wines and broths, I freeze them in ice cube trays and store in an airtight container for a later date. It's a handy method to lessen waste and reduce trips to the store.
Lemon: Substitute 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
Disclaimer: These are suggestions how to use THAT'S GOOD GARLIC! at home. These are not formal recipes and we don't proclaim to be professional food bloggers. Those folks deserve a round of applause for the hard work they do! We don't track calories or would never want to tell you what to make. We just love to know you're cooking and enjoying time with those you love, even if it's yourself. Be good to one another and much love to you all!