Thursday, September 23, 2010

Look what we found!

Summer is over as the Harvest moon has set but tell that to my taste buds. Last night we dined on fresh clams right from our front yard, or in this case, front shore. Now I know most people will have to resort to going to your local fishmonger, but nothing screams summer like a bowl of steaming clams, some broth and if you like...melted butter!
A couple of times a year Jane gets up the gumption to sit in the outgoing tide and sift through the silty home of the Rhode Island clam and every time she does, I reap the rewards. There really is nothing to making good steamers as long as you remember to take the time and care to preparing them for their steam bath. After a good washing and light scrubbing with cold water, put your clams in a bowl, cover with cold water and add 1Tbl salt & a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of corn meal, mix in the clams and put, covered with a wet towel, in the fridge. The clams will "eat" the corn meal and spit it out, along with any sand their have digested recently. We usually repeat this process at least twice over a one day period.
All you have left to do know is steam your clams and dig in. Set up a steamer, you can add aromatics to the water,, herbs, onion, garlic,,anything you like, however I like mine straight, traditional, unadorned. With clams in pot, bring the water to a boil, covered for about 5 minutes, you can give the clams a toss at the halfway point, they are done when they open. If the majority of the clams are open and you have a few that refuse, have no fear and pass those over, if a clam won't open it has good reasons and we should no doubt them.
Place your clams in a bowl, ladle a cup of broth for dripping and rewarming and serve with melted clarified butter, if you choose. The clams we get are often so sweet and succulent I find they need no help, so i forgo the butter, but some people find that part integral to the equation. Whatever you decide you can't go wrong and it could no be easier. We served the clams as an appetizer, along with smoked bluefish spinach stuffed sole, but you are going to have to wait until the next post for that recipe. So until,, eat more clams and let summer live on, share and have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Those look fabulous! When I read your recipie I thought it said "screaming clams" and frankly, that sounded good too! I wish I was digging clams or at least had a good fishmonger, but alas...landlocked in Colorado I am slightly mistrustful of seafood here! I will patiently wait for my clams...! Love the simplicity of your recipies!!!!