Monday, July 11, 2011

White Wine Steamed Clams

I grew up in New England, where summer time is synonymous with clam bakes. Even now that I have lived away for over 5 years, I still get an urge when fresh clams start showing up in the store. However when you live in a small apartment, sometimes having a steaming kettle full of fresh seafood (and the stinky trash that goes along with it) is less than appealing. That doesn't mean you have to forget those summer time memories - just scale things back to apartment size! The traditional clam boil includes clams, lobsters, steamers, mussels, corn and potatoes boiled up in a beer and water mix (cooked in a giant sand pit if you have one but more often just in a big pot on a gas burner). But for us, since clams were on sale at the market, it was an easy decision to just grab a few dozen little necks and get cooking.

For our clam bake we are going to do things a little different though.... no surprise for those who read this blog often. I do enjoy a nice beer I was thinking more along the lines of white wine and garlic flavors. This recipe is a bit more of a French style than a New England one but I suppose when you have deliciously fresh clams on hand, its hard to go wrong! Instead of using a large stock pot to steam my clams I used a large saute pan with under an inch of brother in the bottom - just enough to steam but not boil.

White Wine Steamed Clams 
3 doz little neck clams - washed to remove sand and grit
1 c white wine
1/2 onion - finely diced
3 cloves garlic - smashed and diced
2 tbsp olive oil (or butter)
salt & pepper

1) In a saute pan, heat the oil and saute the garlic and onion.
2) When aromatic add the white wine and season with salt and pepper
3) Add the clams until they cover the bottom of the pan - you can double stack but make sure lid will close completely
4) Once shells pop open, remove from heat - you can serve with crusty bread  or over some pasta if desired