The one with all the clams.

Originally posted March 2012.

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So, I have a funny story for you guys. And not funny like, “ha ha, Lauren, you’re such a comedian.” More like, “ha ha, that would happen to you!”

I decided I wanted to make some steamed clams for dinner tonight. Because, y’know, they’re delicious and good warm-weather food. So I bought two dozen clams from ShopRite on my way home, because ShopRite has never done me wrong with fish. Or anything, really, but this story is specifically about mollusks.

So I get home, clean them off, and throw a bunch of ‘em in the pot with the wine and the butter and all that good stuff, and wait 10 minutes and….!

Nothing. Well, one cracked open a teensy bit. The rest were…well, clammed up.

I think, okay. I throw another six or so in the pot, wait a bit, and…!

Nope. These guys aren’t opening up, either. So I think, awesome, I just bought two dozen bad clams. HOORAY. So whatever, no matter. There’s a seafood place down the block from my apartment! So I traipse down there, buy two dozen littlenecks. I get home, open the lid of the pot…

Every single clam in the pot opened up.

Clam closeup

Look at how this mollusk mocks me. Too bad I ate it.

Anyway, that’s how I ended up with four dozen clams this evening. Thanks to Dad’s suggestion, I made some chowdah. Ommmm.

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Oh, and I also left the asparagus in the pot of water while I was gone, so the asparagus got all drab green and soggy and mreh. Colin, the wonder-boyfriend that he is, actually choked some down, saying only “maybe you cooked it a little too long?” I love that kid.

But anyway! This is a pretty delicious recipe for making clams. Not to mention, it’s ridiculously easy, fast and inexpensive. Seriously, clams and mussels are relatively inexpensive. Colin and I couldn’t have eaten two dozen cherrystones if we TRIED. Well, actually, we did try. And I still had clams leftover for the chowder. Yeah, I don’t know where I’m going with this, other than: steam clams in wine, butter and garlic, and make sure you buy a loaf of crusty French bread for dipping purposes. You won’t be sorry.

And if you don’t want to do that…come over and eat some of my chowder.

Steamed clams

2 dozen clams
2 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp butter
2 cups white wine (dry = my fave)
pinch of red pepper flakes

First, thoroughly clean your clams, because they will most likely be all gritty and dirty and sandy. You should probably do as I say, not as I do, and invest in a little scrubbing brush (although a solid toothbrush with harder bristles would probably suffice) to make sure you get rid of all the residue.

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In a large pot with a lid, saute your garlic in butter over medium-high heat until it becomes fragrant and slightly golden.

Add wine, let it heat up, then add your pepper flakes and clams. You may not be able to add them all at once (actually, unless you borrowed a pot from Paul Bunyan, you definitely won’t be able to), so heat them in batches. After adding your clams, cover and let them steam about 10 minutes. If your pot is metal, like mine, you’ll be able to hear them clinking as they open. Y’know, WHEN they open. Ughhh.

And seriously, that’s it. The end. When your clams are all opened, you’re done. Serve them with bread and asparagus that hasn’t been totally destroyed as a result of your flakiness.

Clams 2

I guess I should probably tell you that if your clams don’t open up EVER then they’re no good and you have to throw them away. Also, you really shouldn’t steam them for TOO long because they’ll get chewy and tough, and nobody wants to spend five minutes chewing on a clam, attractive as that may be.

Happy eating!

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