The Best Recipe for Steamer Clams!

Besides grilling them or making Clams Casino, this is
absolutely my favorite way of preparing clams.

For this dish, I like to find the smallest clams available in 
the market. These are Venus clams, farmed in the cold waters
of Baja Mexico ~ they are a sustainable crop and
generally available year round where I live.

Here's what you need to make the BEST steamed clams
you've ever tasted:

live, fresh steamer clams
dry white wine
good butter
a small amount of finely diced onion
plenty of fresh, minced garlic (not the stuff from the jar) 
some finely chopped fresh parsley
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
a bay leaf or two

To finish:
 a generous shower of chopped fresh parsley
lemon wedges
freshly cracked black pepper (optional) 
I would usually add a sprinkling of
fresh chives as well, but the recent rains
have taken their toll and the chives are looking sad.

 The recipe could hardly be easier. After allowing the clams
to purge themselves of any sediment* place them 
 in a pot, pour the wine over them**, enough
to just barely cover. Add the butter,
onion, garlic, thyme, and parsley. Cover the pot and bring to
a boil until the clams pop open (usually about 5 minutes.)

Discard any clams that have not popped open after cooking ...

A TIP I recently learned from a seafood expert:
When the clams have cooked, you may find a couple
that don't pop open; using tongs remove the open
clams and shells then cover the pot and boil for
another 3 to 5 minutes. Check the remaining clams, and you may
be surprised that some stubborn ones have now popped open.
But again, discard any that don't open upon the 2nd round of
cooking ~ discard them, and add the cooked clams back
to the pot for serving. 

*To purge the clams of any sand that might be
present: soak them overnight in a pot or
bucket of cold salted water (1 Tablespoon salt to
2 quarts of water), they will die in fresh water.
You may add a tablespoon or two of cornmeal to the water. 
(This acts as an irritant & encourages the clams to
expel any grit, along with the cornmeal.)
Discard any with cracked or broken shells, as well as
those that don't close when rapped on a hard surface.

** No need to cover them completely with the wine,
as those above the liquid level will steam cook, hence
the name "steamers".

And most importantly!

Don't forget some sturdy sourdough bread for dipping up the buttery nectar! Actually, as with escargot, the sauce (or in this case broth) 
is the best part of the dish, in my opinion.  ;)

To serve:  I usually serve them right from the small copper pots,
otherwise ladle a portion of clams into bowls, along with
some of that irresistible buttery nectar, sprinkle generously with additional
minced parsley. Add cracked black pepper if desired, some people also
like to have a little Tabasco or other hot sauce to spice things up.
Pass the bread basket and get ready to feast! 

These also are wonderful served as an appetizer ~

If you would like a printable copy of the recipe, you'll find
it over on my recipe blog:
Click here.

Have a blessed week.
Those enduring the devastation of Hurricane Sandy
remain in my thoughts and prayers.

xo ~mari


  1. J'aime tes photos et toi:-) I would love to reach in and share these with you.

  2. Oh Mari - I can just imagine breaking off a hunk of chewy bread and dunking into that delicious pot liquor. Yummo!

  3. I just had lunch...but I'm drooling over this. This is my favorite way to cook clams. I love the white wine, fresh thyme and lots of garlic in them!

    Great tip to cook the un-open clams the 2nd time! I don't like wasting food when they are perfectly fine. :) Will give that a try next time.

  4. You're speaking my language = irresistible buttery nectar and crusty bread :) I must find clams! Beautiful in your handsome copper pot!

  5. I have just stopped short of licking the computer screen - your clams look so delicious!


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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