I've long been aware of the notion of "steamers," but little did I know the simple & delicious concept of them.

So this past Saturday, while browsing my summer-neighborhood Farmers market, I came along two bags of happy local clams, and jumped at the opportunity to make them into something memorable. 

I'm SO excited that my summer farmers market has started serving happy local fish. This one in particular- Alice's fish market- told me it gets all its fish from Montauk! Check them out if you're in the North Fork area...!

According to the Kings of sustainable seafood, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, “farmed or hand-harvested clams are a ‘Best Choice’ worldwide, since the impact on habitats and other sea life is minimal. Clams harvested with hydraulic dredges are a ‘Good Alternative’ because there's some concern about the impact of this catch method on the seafloor, even when used on a sandy habitat.”

Back to these Clams.

Here's the simple basic concept I used when putting together this steaming pot of goodness:

The Recipe

-1 can of beer (ale-style) OR 1 cup white wine

-a handful of aromatic vegetables (I used a shallot)

-a knob of butter

-a bag or two of fresh clams, rinsed

These ingredients were heated until the beer was bubbling. Then, the clams were quickly added to the pot, and covered. Once all their shells had popped open, they were ready to go!

Best served with crusty bread, to mop up all the delicious juices.

The Tasting

After the success of my mussel tastings, I was looking forward to trying these other little shelled creatures. The bowl smelled delicious, and definitely looked inviting. The taste was good- perhaps the beer made them a little bitter, but the general flavor & crunch was very palatable. I would like to try it again with another beer, to see how that affects the flavor.

I will honestly say, I think I still prefer mussels... But I'm excited to try more dishes with clams, such as Spaghetti alle Vongolle and classic creamy chowder!

To be continued....

Now it's Your turn!

  • Find out more about sourcing & cooking clams here ! It's a fantastic resource.
  • Check out top chef Mark Bittman's top 12 Clam Recipes from the NYT: The Big Dig
  • Hurry! You know clam bakes taste best before Labor Day.... 

 Get cooking!