Clams Mariniere

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

This is a lovely meal on a cold, blustery Fall night. It’s hard to go wrong with a simple meal such as this.

I am soooooo far behind on posts. Lots going on. Baby Lady has been working at break neck speed, the Holiday Season is upon us, last week was Icemegeddon (still in progress) and Baby Lady was traveling. It’s been so hectic we have yet to put up the Christmas tree or the indoor Holiday decorations. :o So, the blog has been on the back burner. Also, Baby Lady really loves some of the dishes we have already posted and remakes were in order, i.e. Pozole Rojo, Mussels with Chorizo & Red ChilesRoasted Chicken on Brussel Sprout Hash with Mustard Cream Sauce and perhaps Baby Lady’s favorite, Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust. Tonight’s command performance is Cajun Shrimps. So, if we didn’t have step-by-step photos, we corrected that; otherwise, we simply made the dish again because Baby Lady wanted it. Hence, no post. Nevertheless, we have been cooking new dishes and older ones not yet published on REMCooks. Hopefully, slowly but surely, they will be published in the nearer than farther future.

We were at the market when we saw the sale on little neck clams. We really love clams and the timing for them was just right. We needed a nice warm brothy meal because there has been a slight chill in the air, except, of course, for the last 4 days which have been downright cold. Knothead called me Saturday to laugh and tell me how it was sunny and 50 F in Portland, Me. while we we in the midst of this nasty ice storm. It looks like he got a taste of this nastiness last night as the weather shows this storm front slamming the East Coast today. Inasmuch as we are still freezing in DFW (high 20s today) I can’t be smug  and call him about the lovely weather we’re having. That day will come very soon but I digress.

Let me see, we were talking about clams…yes these beautiful little neck clams. Now, did you know that little neck, cherry stone, top neck and quahog clams are quahog clams, also commonly called hard clams or hard shell clams? They are. The name simply refers to how large the clam has grown. Little necks are the smallest netting to 7-10 clams per pound. Cherry stones are a little larger with 6-10 clams per pound. Top neck clams are also labeled as count neck clams, netting your somewhere along 4 clams per pound. Quahogs are the big boys (and girls) on the block and oldest They are commonly called chowder clams and netting you 2-3 clams per pound. Typically, quahogs grow to legal size in 3 to 4 years if conditions are good. Its age can be determined by counting the growth rings on its shell. As quahogs get older, they grow more slowly, so the growth rings get very close together and difficult to count accurately. Biologists estimate that the largest quahogs (4 inches or more in length) are as much as 40 years old.

Which type of clam to buy depends on how you want to prepare them. Not surprisingly, as they get larger (and older) hard shell clams get tougher and chewier, making these sizes ideal for chowders, stuffing, frying, and other cooking methods. I generally prefer the little neck and cherry stone clams even when I’m making chowder. They are tender and sweet. I love them. So, when we saw these clams, we bought them and this is what we made with them.

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs little neck clams
  • 1 large white onion, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, shopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 stick butter (8 Tbsp if you buy block butter)
  • 1-1/2 cups white wine
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Instruction

Wash and disgorge clams.  When done, add half of the butter (4 Tbsp) to a sufficiently large pot.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com – Here is the gratuitous dropping shot

Now add the onions

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

the garlic

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

freshly ground black pepper

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

thyme

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

half of the chopped parsley – 1/4 cup

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

clams

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

and white wine

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

These look lovely before cooking :)

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com – I really do love clams

Now , cover and steam the clams over medium-low heat until the clams open (roughly 8 – 10 minutes). When done, remove clams from the pot discarding the ones that did not open.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Now, increase heat to medium high, add the remaining butter to the pot and reduce by 20 – 25%

© 2013 REMCooks.com - No gratuitous dropping shot on this one. This is too hot to do a dropping shot and splash the liquid all over me and the stove. :o

© 2013 REMCooks.com – No gratuitous dropping shot on this one. This is too hot to do a dropping shot and splash the liquid all over me and the stove. :o

Add the remaining parsley

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Taste for salt. If you noticed, we did not add any salt because the clams will add salt. You however, may desire a little more. If so, add it. If not, leave it alone. Stir the broth and pour over the clams.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Using a large spoon or ladle, spoon the clams and broth into a soup bowl.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Serve & enjoy. :)

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

NOTES: You can use mussels in this dish, as well.

Also, if there is any broth/soup left after all of the clams are gone, keep it as it forms the base of a wonderful, easy sauce for fish on another day. Check it out:

Seared Swordfish with Clam Sauce atop Herbed Couscous

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24 thoughts on “Clams Mariniere

  1. Must be amazing! I love clams but I am allergic! I ate them a couple of times and really enjoyed it…But then I discovered I was allergic to them…such a shame!

    • So sorry to hear you’re allergic to clams. We love seafood of all kinds but on cold nights mussels and clams just fit the bill. Can you eat mussels? You can use this recipe for mussels, as well. I like the sweetness of the clams and they really shine in this type of dish. The mussels can be a little strong. It’s why I prefer them to clams in bolder dishes, i.e. mussels with chorizo and red chiles, or mussels in red thai curry.

      • Yes, I can eat mussels! I love seafood! But I understand when you say that mussels might be too strong for some recipes. Oh well, I am glad that you can enjoy this dish, I’ll participate with my thought ;-)

  2. Welcome back, Richard :-) I’ve eaten a lot of moules marinières in France in the 80ies and 90ies, but have never prepared them myself. I don’t remember seeing clams prepared this way (I don’t remember seeing them at all in France, actually, only in Italy), but it certainly makes sense to prepare them this way. I like your idea of reducing the sauce a bit at the end.

    • Hi, Stephan. Thanks for the compliment. Glad I was missed. :) Most of the time you find this recipe like you have had it with mussels but it can also be used with clams. I prefer the clams to the mussels because the mussels are a little stronger in flavor. Clams done in this fashion really shine. A true mariniere also doesn’t have garlic but I like the flavor of the onions and garlic.

  3. A masterclass. I have done this (or an approximation of this) with mussels. Once while in France we went to a night market where the only food on offer was this dish (with mussels) served with a bottle of Muscadet and a side of chips. Very French. Very tasty. Good to have you back.

    • Hi Conor. It’s good to be posting again. This is a very classic french bivalve preparation and incredibly tasty. I always like it when things are simple, quick and very tasty like this dish.

  4. Every time I click on your column I seem to get a fabulous cooking lesson: had heard [and probably eaten most] of all of these clams but did not know the relationship! Lovely recipe I do want to try if lucky to find clams, as mussels are so much easier to access here also. These look so appetizing tho’ :) !

  5. Ha ha I’m backlogged to the hilt. I try to catch up but not yet succeeded. Thanks for sharing a wonderful and straightforward recipe with clear instructions. It looks very, very delicious! Have a wonderful week!

    • Hi, Liz. I have no idea how many recipes I have backlogged but it’s a lot. I seem to stay backlogged. There is always something new and exciting we want to fix so we are always eating well even when we’re not posting. I try to keep photos up to date on the REMCooks Facebook page. Writing the posts, however, take considerable amounts of time.

  6. I’ve never cooked clams or mussels in my own kitchen. Wish I had your source for seafood. Most everything I buy online. Oh well, that’s why we travel. This recipe looks absolutely perfect!

    • Thanks, Mimi, for the nice compliment. We like seafood and DFW does have several places that gets its seafood flown in fresh. It becomes a little more difficult in smaller areas further inland. Seafood doesn’t keep fresh very well and for the most part people in the US are meat and taters eaters. I have seen frozen mussels and they are OK but I really prefer the fresh.

    • Thanks, Peggy. I always enjoy San Antonio and the Riverwalk. It’s a very fun place. Also, my younger brother was born in San Antonio. He’s the only true Texan in the family other than my children and, of course, the Baby Lady. :)

    • Thanks, Kathryn. We survived but it was very cold. We are still having freezing temperatures at night and there is supposed to be another northern coming in behind this one. It looks like it will be an interesting winter in DFW this year.

  7. I, too, am far behind, Richard, and wonder it I’ll ever catch back up again. It would be easy to just skip over a bunch of posts but when they depict a great dish like yours here, I just have to stop and admire it. I love everything about this post, from the sale price of the clams to that chunk of bread on the plate, and all points in between. :)

    • Hi, John. Thanks for the nice compliment. I think if you do any kind of blog you fall behind and never catch up. There’s always something new and never enough time to write it all down. By the time you have it written down you have done several new things. It always seems to be piling up even when we go out to eat or fix previous recipes. I guess this is the life of a blogger. Of well, there are worse things. :)

    • Hi, Sheryl. Thanks for the nice compliment. This is such a wonderful dish and so easy, too. I can’t believe you have never made these at home. They are so much easier than those fabulous baked treats you’re always making. You definitely need to make these. :)

  8. I don’t have any idea why my comments aren’t going through but am revisiting. I’m like the others in that I have prepared mussels this way but not clams. Silly me as they have to be great.

  9. Pingback: Seared Swordfish with Clam Sauce atop Herbed Couscous | REMCooks

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