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Old 01-25-2006, 12:38 AM   #1
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What's the best way to de-grit clams?

hiya folks!!!

i bought come wild maine littlenecks to make tomorrow, and i was wondering what was the best way to get the sand out of them. i've heard that putting them in a bowl of water with some cornmeal helps them disspell their grit by ingesting the cornmeal, but i don't know if this works.
also, does changing the water frequently help? and should you use salted water, or is tap water ok.

i will be making them 2 ways: first, by steaming a dozen or so in wine/butter/herbs for and appetizer tomorrow. then, having another dozen remaining, i'm gonna try a modified recipe from "jacques pepin: fast food my way", and cook them frenchy style with chorizo, potatoes, and filet of red snapper for dinner on thursday.

tia for your help.

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Old 01-25-2006, 12:03 PM   #2
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This is what Jasper White (the king of NE cuisine that you like so much ) says:



"What's the Deal with the Grit?
Because they live on the ocean floor, steamers contain sand, which should be purged before cooking. (Those from mud flats, rather than sand, will be less gritty.) The traditional method is to soak them in salted water with a little cornmeal, supposedly encouraging them to spit out the grit. But White calls this method "useless — it doesn't do anything." Instead, he recommends repeated tossing in successive pails of cold water until the water remains clean. This can take as many as six or seven washings; handle the steamers gently to avoid cracking their shells. When submerging the steamers in the water, watch for any that float — this means that they're already dead and should be discarded. (Note that when preparing mussels, the opposite is true: They clamp shut tightly, trapping air in the shell, and therefore should float when alive. Discard any that sink.)"


and

"1. Fill two large pots (or two sinks) with cold water. Place the clams in one pot of water, discarding any dead ones or clams with cracked shells. Gently move them around in the water and let them soak for a few minutes, then lift them out and place them in the other pot of cold water. Rinse the first pot and fill it again. Move the clams around again, then transfer them back to the clean pot. Continue to switch the clams back and forth, letting them soak for a few minutes each time, and then lifting them out of the pot, until the water remains crystal clear. The process should take four or five soakings."
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Old 01-25-2006, 02:24 PM   #3
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Well I soak them overnight in "sea Water" with very fine corn meal and they not only sand free but very plum from the corn meal and tast wonderful. Each to his own.
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:46 PM   #4
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thanks jenny and dnjdery. since there's no cornmeal in my cupboard anyway, i'm gonna do the multiple water changes thing.

i need to pick some cornmeal up for pizza making, so i'll try that technique in a future attempt.
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Old 01-26-2006, 11:32 AM   #5
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Bucky -- think a lovely fried polenta cake with some home made sauce ....
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:23 PM   #6
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De gritting the clams!!!

My grandfather was born at Atlantic, NC. He grew up on the water. We would go clamming and he would put some cornmeal in the water to "de-grit" them. He made the best clam fritters and clam chowder.
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