"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Fish & Seafood
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-26-2013, 07:33 PM   #1
Master Chef
 
Aunt Bea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: near Mount Pilot
Posts: 7,005
Cooking clams at home?

I would like to steam a dozen clams for myself now that I have seen pac's clambake.

I have never cooked a small amount indoors and I could use some tips or a TNT method.

Also I am wondering what are the best types of clams, likely to be found in the supermarket.

Do small amounts of clams from the grocery store require cleaning or purging similar to the process used in cleaning large amounts?

Could I just lay them in a frying pan and add a little water, butter etc and just bring to a boil for a few minutes.

I know how to melt the butter and open the beer, it's the rest of the process that confuses me.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks, B
__________________

__________________
Aunt Bea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 19,034
If you intend to eat the bellies, I would place them in heavily salted water. In fresh water they will drown. Once they are dead you no longer can cook them for eating. I know it sounds crazy, but it is true. You can put a small amount of corn meal in the water to help them purge. Only leave them there for an hour. Remove from the salted water and scrub them under running water. Check them to make sure they are all closed. If any are open, tap them a couple of times and they should close. If they don't, toss it. It is dead.

You are better off steaming them in a saucepan with a glass lid. Place your liquid in the pan along with any seasonings you want to use. I just place them in plain water and steam them. Then I dip them in melted butter and eat the whole thing. When all of the shells are open (why the glass lid) remove from the heat immediately. If any failed to open, toss it. It too is dead. Remove the clams from the shells over a bowl. You want to capture the juice inside the shells. You don't need to cover them with water. Just a couple of inches will do the job. You are steaming them. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth or just the strainer and leave the last drops in the pan. You will see the sand in the bottom. Toss it.

Good luck. Happy eating.
__________________

__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 08:57 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
I would like to steam a dozen clams for myself now that I have seen pac's clambake.

I have never cooked a small amount indoors and I could use some tips or a TNT method.

Also I am wondering what are the best types of clams, likely to be found in the supermarket.

Do small amounts of clams from the grocery store require cleaning or purging similar to the process used in cleaning large amounts?

Could I just lay them in a frying pan and add a little water, butter etc and just bring to a boil for a few minutes.

I know how to melt the butter and open the beer, it's the rest of the process that confuses me.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks, B
The clams found in the grocery stores around here are already ready to cook. No purging, debearding or anything required other than steaming.

The only difference I have noticed in the varieties offered around here is how big of a piece you want to put in your mouth. The flavor is the same.
Just have you seafood counter person hand pick them (they usually know what they are doing) and don't twist the plastic bag closed or they could suffocate. Get home quick and right into the fridge, on ice if you aren't using until the next day. I also lay a damp paper towel over them if saving them for a day.

There's not much to cooking them except to steam until they open.
The more you have going you should use a lid to retain your liquids or you'll cook them dry. Remember, too much liquid and you're boiling them. And it's also nice to use a small amount of liquid to keep it concentrated anyway.
You can use water, beer or any variety of liquids (last night I used beer, vermouth and water for my clambake, but there were also veggies in the liquid like garlic and celery). The liquor, or juice, the clams give up while cooking makes a delicious juice for dunking bread into.

So simplified you could steam in water and dunk in butter, but there is also a lot you can do with the liquid (see Snip's curry mussles for instance). It's all good.
And get some mussels, too. They are cheaper, sweeter and not as chewy. You might find you like them just as much.

__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 18,729
great advice from some clammy folks so far.

the first question is whether you want small hardshell clams (the relatively round ones), or softshell clams (the elongated ones with an external siphon).

for the hardshells, which is what you probably have available this time of year, i like to purge my clams submerged in lightly salted water after scrubbing for a few hours in the fridge. no cornmeal or anything added.

maybe it's because the water isn't very salty, or maybe like pac says they're ready to go from the store, but my clams have never been gritty doing it this way.

btw, mussels and some barnacles have beards; clams do not.

now, like my clammy buds have said, when they've warmed a bit on the counter, tap them if any are slightly open. if they close, they're good. if they say open, they might be bad
if they don't close, an experienced nose can tell if they're bad. they might just be asleep from the cold fridge. but for a newbie, chuck 'em.

then comes the fun part.

you can broil them, bake them, grill them... wait, that's for shrimp.

take a deep saute pan; crowding them is ok, then over medium heat in a bit of oil or fat (evoo, canola, peanut, bacon-yumm), toast you're aromatics such as garlic, shallots, and/or onion just a little, add just a splash of white wine or water or clam broth or seafood stock-about a quarter cup and then optionally add in some butter, fresh herbs such as parsely, thyme or better yet lemon thyme, or maybe basil or thai basil (if doing a thai thing, then also add a bit of ground ginger and lime juice). the style and herb combos are up to you.

you know what you're doing in the kitchen as far as combos go, so i don't need to go any farther with that.

ok, so, pop the cleaned clams in the saute with the liquid, turn the heat to high, cover tightly, and wait 5 minutes.

take a peek, and as soon as 3/4s of them open up, recover the pan and shut the heat off. wait another 2 minutes and the rest should be opened up.

those that aren't go to the bin. or as mentioned, are steamed a minute or so more after the rest are plated if they smell ok. if after that and they still are closed, chuck 'em no matter what.

plate, or maybe i should say in a bowl or deep plate the clams, and pour the remaining liquid over top. serve with crusty bread for sopping uo the liquid.
.
__________________
in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.


Meh nom eh noh...doot dooooo do do do.
buckytom is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 10:56 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 18,729
i forgot to add that as far as hardshell clams go (quahogs, currently known the oldest living creature on earth), you want to go small. the smallest are topnecks, then littlenecks, then cherrystones, then quahogs.

you want to go small for steaming, up to cherrystones, if they're fresh.

quahogs are big and tough, so they're best suited for chopping and adding to soups or mincing for stuffing.

gorta run. softshell clam directions in a bit.
__________________
in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.


Meh nom eh noh...doot dooooo do do do.
buckytom is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 11:18 PM   #6
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 36,289
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
... i like to purge my clams submerged in lightly salted water after scrubbing for a few hours in the fridge....
what are you scrubbing for a few hours in the fridge?...brrr!
__________________
PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 11:53 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: va by way of upstate ny
Posts: 4,442
i have no business getting hungry for clams this time of night, and with no prospect of getting my hands on any until tomorrow, at the soonest. so, i should maybe stop reading clam bake and dinner threads at midnight, right? you would think i would learn that simple lesson after the first fifteen times, but no....
__________________
vitauta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 03:21 AM   #8
Master Chef
 
Aunt Bea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: near Mount Pilot
Posts: 7,005
Thanks for all of the great information folks!
__________________
Aunt Bea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 04:34 AM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 19,034
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
Thanks for all of the great information folks!
Happy Eating!
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 10:36 AM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 18,729
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
what are you scrubbing for a few hours in the fridge?...brrr!

lol, yeah, but the hard part is it's so dark in there.
__________________

__________________
in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.


Meh nom eh noh...doot dooooo do do do.
buckytom is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
clams, cooking, recipe

Cooking clams at home? I would like to steam a dozen clams for myself now that I have seen pac's clambake. I have never cooked a small amount indoors and I could use some tips or a TNT method. Also I am wondering what are the best types of clams, likely to be found in the supermarket. Do small amounts of clams from the grocery store require cleaning or purging similar to the process used in cleaning large amounts? Could I just lay them in a frying pan and add a little water, butter etc and just bring to a boil for a few minutes. I know how to melt the butter and open the beer, it's the rest of the process that confuses me. :ermm::ohmy::lol: Any help would be appreciated! Thanks, B 3 stars 1 reviews
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.