Sunday, June 27, 2010

What the heck do I do with....Clams???

Rob is lucky enough to know someone who goes clamming in Quincy, Ma and who brings him clams on a regular basis. So, every couple of weeks, I'll get a text from Rob that simply reads, Clams....
I'm not 100% positive what type of clam they are, but based on their size I'm going with little necks or cherry stones; they might be too big to be little necks.
Clams require a little bit of clean up; simply rinse the clams in some cold water and scrub the outsides of the shells to get any grit off.
What do you do with a clam? Well, the easiest thing to do is to simply put the clam on a medium hot grill and let them steam open. Once you put the clams on the grill, close the grill and give them about 5 minutes, then POP, they'll pop open. Remove them carefully trying to save the clam juice or liquor, as it is called that is left in the shell. You can eat them right out of the shell. They are usually tender and delicious, salty from the sea, and perhaps a bit sandy, but that's all good.

If you have more time, boil up some spaghetti or other pasta of choice and start some garlic cooking over medium heat in some olive oil.
Once the garlic starts to get a bit brown, add your clams in, as well as some white wine, a squeeze of lemon, a squeeze of honey and put the cover on. You can also use beer if you chose, instead of wine. I used Vino Verde, an effervescent, almost green in color, wine from Portugal.
I had some scallions laying around, so I chopped some up and threw them in as well.
It takes a good 8-10 minutes for the clams to open and when they do, their liquor will mix with the steaming liquid to form a nice sauce for the pasta.
NOTE: Do not eat or attempt to eat a clam that does not open; it is not a good clam and should not be eaten, but discarded.
After the clams steam open, dress the spaghetti with them and top with a green herb like parsley or's up to you whether or not you want to top with Parmesan cheese as well....

Enjoy your clams!!!

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