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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Turn the flame to medium/medium-high and cover the clams.
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.
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!
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.
Oh, I am not sure there is anything better. I want some NOW.
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!
- 1/2 stick salted butter
- 1-2 medium to large garlic cloves, peeled
- 10 oz Chardonay
- 1 to 1 1/2 dozen littleneck clams, cleaned
- sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1/4 c finely chopped fresh chives
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Season to taste, spoon the sauce over (and into the clams), top with chopped chives & serve.
- 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.