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. 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 Chiles, Roasted 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.
- 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
Wash and disgorge clams. When done, add half of the butter (4 Tbsp) to a sufficiently large pot.
Now add the onions
freshly ground black pepper
half of the chopped parsley – 1/4 cup
and white wine
These look lovely before cooking
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.
Now, increase heat to medium high, add the remaining butter to the pot and reduce by 20 – 25%
Add the remaining parsley
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.
Using a large spoon or ladle, spoon the clams and broth into a soup bowl.
Serve & enjoy.
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: