When I was little girl my family used to vacation in Maine. I remember sitting outside at a picnic table surrounded by trees not too far from the coast, my parents feasting on shellfish, enjoying wine out of a carafe. My siblings and I would be eating hot dogs, drinking lemonade and daring one another to try the little sea creatures the adults delighted in slurping down with such ease!
This meal of Steamed Clams in Butter, Shallot, Garlic and White Wine served next to Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels in a San Marzano Red Sauce with tons of basil, parsley and chopped garlic, was inspired by those special days... decades ago. Back then I couldn't wait to grow up...now I know why.
Always looking for new ways to prepare shellfish, any tried & true recipes out there???
The following serves as a guide to construct your sauces - lots of butter, garlic and shallots are the trick!
CLAMS:2 lbs clams (scrubbed and cleaned) melt stick of butter in large heavy stock pot until bubbling Add an entire large, sliced shallot Add 3+ large cloves of chopped garlic Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme Saute until tender (approx 4 minutes) Add 1/2 cup white wine on hand Add clams and fold together Add more butter and liquid (clam juice, stock or wine) if necessary Cover and steam approx. 6 minutes, until all clams open (discard those that do not open) Remove thyme sticks Top with tons of freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley!
MUSSELS1 lb Farm raised mussels - Melt stick 0f butter (and/or olive oil) in large heavy pot. Add an entire large, sliced shallot, Add 3+ large cloves of chopped garlic- Saute until tender (approx 4 minutes) Add 1 can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, More butter/oil here wouldn't hurt. S&P to taste. Pinch of red pepper flakes (Optional) - Add mussels and cover, shaking pot occasionally, cook until mussels pop open about 8 minutes (discard those that do not open) - Top with tons of freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley and basil!
SERVE ALONG SIDE GRILLED or CRUSTY BREAD - Garlic Bread if you like!