An Okie Girl’s take on Littleneck Clams ((in a garlic butter white wine sauce))

I love how simple and wonderfully delicious this meal is! But no one needs to know, just let them be impressed when you confidently whip up perfectly seasoned, briny & sweet, tiny little tender clams! 

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There a few keys to cooking the perfect clam:

  • only buy clams from a shop or seafood counter you can trust for freshness and quality
  • keep you clams cold (transport on ice) until ready to cook
  • cook as close to purchase as possible
  • keep the ingredients simple, fresh high quality
  • Keep calm and cook clams — haha, I can see the tee-shirt now!

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I always start with my favorite salted butter ((Braum’s)) but a sweet Irish butter is a winner too! The amount depends on how many clams I am making, but usually ½ of a stick is plenty.

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Once the butter has melted and turned a light golden brown, add 2 peeled whole garlic cloves. Allow the garlic cloves to permeate into the butter, but make sure they never burn. Burned garlic = BAD.

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Allow the butter and garlic to visit for a few minutes and then add 10 oz of a nice white wine. I like these little bottles you can find at the liquor store.

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My clams were pre-scrubbed, but if yours are sandy – give them a good scrub before adding them to the butter, garlic & white wine sauce.

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Turn the flame to medium/medium-high and cover the clams.

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After 10-12 minutes, lift the lid and take a little peek to see if the clams are opening. I managed to see 2 pop open while I was peeking, it thrilled me. It’s the little things people.

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Now, if there are a few stubborn clams refusing to open, re-cover and allow the clams to steam for 2-3 more minutes. If, after 15-17 minutes, some clams are still shut – toss them out ((yes throw them in the garbage)) and turn off the flame. All of my clams cooperated, yay!

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Remove the garlic, taste the broth, which is one of my favorite parts of this whole process and season with sea salt & cracked pepper to taste. Top with a handful of finely chopped fresh chives.

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Oh, I am not sure there is anything better. I want some NOW. 

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I served these clams along side a big bowl of giant shrimp & cheesy rice – but next time, they will be tossed in with some fresh, homemade pasta…just you wait and see!

Littleneck Clams in a Garlic Butter White Wine Sauce
Serves 2
Simple & perfect, these little clams are the star of the dish when cooked in a garlic, butter & white wine sauce.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 stick salted butter
  2. 1-2 medium to large garlic cloves, peeled
  3. 10 oz Chardonay
  4. 1 to 1 1/2 dozen littleneck clams, cleaned
  5. sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
  6. 1/4 c finely chopped fresh chives
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a medium to large skillet over medium/medium-high flame. Once the butter has melted and turned light to medium golden, add the garlic and allow to simmer ((leaving the garlic whole will help prevent burning - but still, but be sure the garlic does not burn)) for 2 minutes.
  2. Next, add white wine and clams to the garlic & butter. Cover and allow to cook/steam for 10-12 minutes over medium-high flame. After 12 minutes, take a peek. If all of the clams are open, turn off the flame, remove the garlic and season the sauce to taste.
  3. If a few of the clams are still closed, re-cover and cook for 2-3 additional minutes. If any clams remain closed at the point, toss them out.
  4. Season to taste, spoon the sauce over (and into the clams), top with chopped chives & serve.
Notes
  1. You can serve these clams as a side to another seafood dish or tossed in with some fresh homemade ((or cooked dried if you are in a hurry)) pasta.
Food for a Year: http://foodforayear.com/

In true show & tell form: "I am open for questions & comments"

 
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