Friday, July 15, 2011

Clams with White Wine


I grew up eating clams. My parents would have summer family get togethers and there were always clams around. Dipped in melted butter or cocktail sauce, they were simple and delicious. As a grown up now, I still enjoy clams, and just because they hold such fond memories from my youth. Clams have a flavor you can’t get any where else. They taste well, clamy! I really can’t describe it any better. It’s a wonderful taste and texture and when pair with certain ingredients, clams really shine. This is a more grown up version of my childhood favorite, cooked in a broth with bacon, tons of garlic and white wine. When selecting clams, always ask to see the harvest tag. I know in New York and Pennsylvania, a harvest tag MUST accompany any bag of clams. There are some stores that won’t do this because they are trying to get rid of the old ones. Do not let them try and tell you when they received them in the store. You want to know the day they came out of the water. Do not let them show you just any old tag. You want to see it on the bag and you want the clams from that bag.  Any harvest date that is more than 7-10 days old, should not be purchased. Your clams should also be tightly closed. If they’re not, this means they’re dead and NOT good to eat.

What You Need:

4-5 slices of thick cut bacon, diced
8-10 cloves garlic, diced
1 c white wine
about 50 little neck clams (or your favorite type)
crusty bread for dipping into the juices

\What To Do:

Carefully dump the clams into a very large bowl that has been filled with cool water and a bit of flour.clams2 The flour will make the clams give up any sand they may have held onto. In a very large skillet, (needs to be big enough to hold all the clams with a tightly fitting lid) over medium heat, cook the diced bacon until rendered and crisp. Add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Carefully add in the white wine. Remove the clams from their soak water by lifting them out. Any sand will have settled to the bottom and if you just dump the water out, you’re putting the sand back onto the clams. Add them to the broth you’ve created and put the lid on your skillet, making sure it’s closed. Steam the clams for roughly 10-15 minutes or until it looks like most of them have opened. If you have a clear glass lid, watch your clams pop open. It’s pretty neat! Once your clams are opened, transfer them to a large serving bowl and pour the broth containing the yummy garlic and bacon on top. As your eating this deliciousness, make sure to toss any clams that didn’t open. Do not try to cook them again or pry them open. Dip crusty bread into the broth for a great treat too.

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