Garlic enthusiasts rejoice! Actually, despite the large quantity of garlic called for in this recipe, it doesn't have an overwhelmingly strong flavor. The garlic is mellowed somewhat by cooking and most of it ends up at the bottom of the bowl only to be tossed out with the leftover clam shells. I can think of few things that are easier to prepare than steamed clams and I can think of even fewer experiences are better than sitting down to a big bowl of them. This is one of my favorite dishes to make in the summertime when the warm weather leaves me wanting quick dishes that don't involve too much cooking. White wine, crushed red pepper flakes, and other simple ingredients combine to produce a delicious broth for these clams. As always, be sure to serve lots of bread for sopping up the broth.
Steamed Clams with Garlic
Pistachio Pesto Linguini
Leafy Green Salad with Herb Vinaigrette
Crusty French or Sourdough Bread


3 pounds small hard-shell clams
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 to 8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Cooking Instructions

Wash the clams with a stiff brush under running water to remove any sand and dirt from their shells. Place in a colander or bowl and keep in the refrigerator.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for about one minute, until the garlic is fragrant and tender but not browned. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine has reduced to about half of its original volume.

Add the clams, cover the pot, and cook, shaking the pot every so often, until the clams start to open. Add the butter and parsley and continue to cook until most or all of the clams open. Discard any that do not open. Transfer the clams and broth to a large bowl and serve.

Makes 2 to 4 servings



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elliemay's blog

It is very easy to determine if clams are alive and healthy or not. Healthy clams will have closed shells that are very hard to move from side to side. If they are open or have cracked shells, they should be discarded. If they are slightly open but close tightly once touched, they are fine.

If your clams are very sandy, try soaking them in cold water for about 20 minutes prior to washing. As the clams breathe they filter water. When the fresh water is filtered, the clams push sand out of their shells.

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