Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, July 11, 2011

STEAMED CLAMS - "STEAMERS"

In our motor home, lobster dinners usually start off with “steamers”.  Steamer clams are found along New England and go by many names including "softshells", "longnecks", "piss clams", "Ipswich clams", or "Essex clams".  Equal to the number of different names that they have are the ways in which they are prepared.  There are fried clams, sautéed clams, raw clams on the half shell, clam pizza, clam chowder, steamed clams…..sorry I am getting a little too Forest Gump here….but you get the picture.
A plate full of yummy, steaming, hot clams!
Clams are harvested the old fashioned way - through back-breaking hard work.  At low tide, one ventures onto "clam flats" with a rake and basket and starts digging.  Lots of work has to be done before the tide comes in so digging is constant.  We were fortunate enough to buy them right from the men harvesting them for only $1.30 per pound.  Seemed to me like a reasonable price considering the hard work that it took to harvest them.
Clam digger working hard.  

A wagon load full of clams.  We bought
our clams directly from him as he pulled them ashore.
Since clams live in sand/mud flats and are filter feeders, I recommend “purging” them first.  Place clams in a pot with a gallon of cold water, add 1/3 cup of Kosher salt, and a few tablespoons of corn meal.  Leave the clams in the water for two hours which will allow them to continue feeding and expel the sandy muck that was in their digestive system.  (Use kosher or sea salt as the iodine in regular salt will kill the clams before they hit the boiling water).  Discard any clams that are broken.




RECIPE

4          tablespoons butter
¼         cup onion, small dice
½         cup white wine
½         cup chicken broth (or clam juice)
½         cup water
3          pounds “steamer clams”
drawn butter

In a wide stock pot or large sauté pan melt butter over low heat.  Add onions and sweat for 5-7 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add white wine and chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Boil for 3 minutes and add water.  Once boiling, add clams and cover with a tight-fitting lid.  Steam over low heat for 7 minutes or just until clams open.  Do not overcook or they will be tough and rubbery.  Discard any clams that do not open.

Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the clams to large individual soup bowls with individual cups of melted butter.

Pour broth through a fine mesh or cheesecloth-lined strainer to remove any sand.  Dip the steamed clams into the clam broth to rinse then dip into melted butter and eat.


This recipe serves 2 very hungry clam eaters (Betsy and her brother Mark).  

2 comments:

  1. You forget to send our inventation to dinner lol.... We had lost our inet for almost 2 months BUT we are back up and running and can follow your blog again - yips. Your article has mad my tum sad lol...

    Evielynne and her 3 blogs

    www.handmadecraftsdonewhilerving.blogspot.com

    http://mrmrscraftyrving.blogspot.com

    http://rvtravelingpets.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. ARRGHH! There you go, blogging about one of my favorite foods, and here I am in South Dakota, about as far from fresh clams as possible. Guess I'll have to be satisfied with a Bison Burger....

    ReplyDelete

We love hearing from you, so please drop us a comment