Friday, August 20, 2010

Steamers - Clams or Mussels

Cooking For Fun - Steamers

We spent all of last week on Cape Cod, that is why there has been a shortage in blog posts.  Great week!  We have been spending the same week each August on the Cape for a few years now, in Falmouth the last 3 years.  My brother-in-law from Seattle and his girl friend joined us again this year.  Fabulous week with family, sunshine everyday and sandy tired little boys every night!  One night we had a seafood extravaganza!  OK so we just cooked seafood.  Grilled shrimp and scallops with an appetizer of steamed clams.  I often steam mussels, but guess I never actually steamed clams.  Same process, same great results, but we got some yucky broth from the clams.  They were bought on a whim so I didn't have a chance to properly soak and clean them, maybe you can have nice broth from cleaner clams, we didn't.

I write my blog as a way to share my cooking adventures, but I in no way feel I have the expertise to give hard facts and tips, however I did discover what I guess I already knew was my cooking strength.  No fear.  I just don't care, I'll try anything and if it works great, if not, who cares maybe I learned something.  I realized this as I started making steamers on the Cape.  My friends said she would never make steamers, they are too intimating. I can see how steamers could be a bit daunting, but they are actually soooo easy.  I watched my uncles do it once then just started making them all the time.  I will try to make anything once.  If it works, I will maybe make it again.  That is the strength I bring to cooking and hopefully the entertaining value I can bring to a blog.  Here is a basic and super easy process for making steamers.  Really, have no fear, they are about the simplest thing you can make and turns out it will also impress your friends!

Source:  Various cookbooks - this is a pretty simple recipe

 l3-4 lbs of fresh live clams or mussels (the rule is 1lb per person for an appetizer)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot diced
2 cloves crushed garlic

1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
Big handful of fresh parsley diced maybe 1/2 cup or so

Cleaning:  Place in a large pot and let sit in slowly running cold water for 1/2 hour.

Once your steamers are clean, drain in a colander and set aside as you prepare the pot.  In large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil then add shallot and garlic.  Cook just until the onions are slightly soft, just a few minutes.  Add wine, water, parsley then set all the clams/mussels on top.  Place lid on pot and turn up the heat.  Steam, shaking the pot with the lid on frequently, every minute or two.  Steam like this for 8-10 minute or until your steamers are all open.  Transfer the steamers with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.  If the broth is pretty and clean  you might pour it over the steamers or serve in small bowls for dipping.  Can also provide bowls of melted butter.  Everything is better with butter!

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