Tag Archives: clams

Easter Meal – Shellfish, Lamb Chops, Asparagus, Brusssels Sprouts and More

19 Apr

While it is not set in stone, this is what we will most likely be eating tomorrow for the big Easter meal. We’ll start with shellfish (and Sauvignon Blanc for the growns, flavored seltzer for the kid), then simple lamb and vegetables (probably some couscous with pesto made by the little man as an additional side). We are off to the farm today, so I’ve run out of time…Happy Easter to all, if I don’t see you before then….lamb

Light Mediterranean-style clams

 Crispy Beer-Battered Oysters

Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters

Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters


Simple and Perfect Roasted Baby Lamb Chops

Roasted Asparagus and Sweet Red Pepper Dipping Sauce



Brussels Sprouts – Sauteed and Sassy

brussels sprouts

 Grilled Potato Disks (Like Fries, but grilled!)

Crispy on the outside, crunchy on the inside!

Crispy on the outside, crunchy on the inside!






Easy Steamed Clams for Me – Easy Linguine with Clam Sauce for the Kid

13 Apr

The problem:  I want steamed clams. My dad wants steamed clams. My son won’t eat them. Nor will my mom. I don’t want to cook two meals, because as much as I like to cook, this is not a bloody restaurant.



The solution: Both my son and my mom will eat pasta with seafood flavor. So I steam the clams in a nice cooking liquid, remove the offending shells and shellfish for me and my dad, then plump up the liquid into a delicious pasta sauce for the other two.

yum, clams

yum, clams

And so, we had a lovely casual dinner on the deck, with the remainder of the bottle of white wine, everyone enjoying the arrival of spring (and celebrating the absence of the mosquitoes that have been effing up our summer nights for the last few years).

linguine and clams

linguine and clams (these clams were removed immediately after the picture and eaten by me. The pasta went to the kid.

The whole operation takes only as long as it takes to cook up the pasta. So go for it! Click on for recipe


cheese for the kid

cheese for the kid

Steamed clams and BONUS linguine with white wine, butter and clam sauce

½ lb linguine (this sauce will stretch for a pound of pasta – 4 servings – if you are extra generous with all ingredients)

1 Tbs unsalted butter

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tsp garlic, chopped fine

½ Cup dry white wine

A dozen cherrystone clams in their shells, scrubbed

1 tsp or so lemon juice

6.5 oz can chopped clams

Parmigiano Reggiano for grating

Boil pasta according to package directions. Reserve ¼ Cup of pasta water before draining.

Melt butter in a large saucepan at medium high. When foaming subsides, add olive oil and garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add wine and lemon and bring to a boil.

Add clams in their shells and cover. Cook at medium high until the clams open and remove each one with tongs as it opens. I advise checking after about three minutes, and then uncovering every minute or so after that, to move cooked clams out of the pot as quickly as possible, because they get chewy if overcooked. Set clams aside/start eating them with a glass of that nice dry white wine you opened to cook them.

To the remaining clam cooking liquid, add the can of clams, with juices. Cook at medium high for 1-2 minutes, then add drained pasta, and, if necessary, some of the reserved pasta water. Taste for salt, add pepper if desired and serve with grated cheese.

Quick Cook Clams on the Half Shell – Lighter and Healthier Mediterranean Style

23 May

Summers on Long Island have traditionally been lined with clams. From the big surf clam shells you collect at the beach and take home as keepsakes, ashtrays, tealight holders and that are the most likely clams in your fried clam strips, to the cherrystones you burn your back and cut up your feet feeling around for somewhere in the marshy areas between Massapequa and Jones Beach, to the baked clams that are a feature of virtually every family restaurant on the South Shore, the steamers (which we call piss clams) that you eat by the bucket dipping the clams in brine and butter (after removing that weird skin – best not to discuss it), washed down with golden beers on the fishing docks of Freeport’s Nautical Mile...yeah, clams are a part of life here, especially in the summer.

This is what they look like after steaming and before broiling.

This is what they look like after steaming and before broiling.

So never mind that the clams we used in this recipe were actually from Maryland (once again, thanks Ashley!), it still felt like a proper kick-off to the outdoor eating season to us.

This was a super easy recipe (especially because my dad was actually the one who did most of the work, while I fussed about with other things, like chilling the wine and getting my own Mussels Vinaigrette plated) and the results were phenomenal. Pedro being Pedro, he didn’t use butter, which would be traditional. Instead he used garlic-infused olive oil and I think the dish was much, much better for it. Very fresh, briny, and bracing, the way I like my seafood! Continue reading

Manhattan Clam Chowder: zesty, cozy, bacon free

21 May

A Margarita glass makes for a novel soup presentation. Nota bene: The glass should be sturdy!

I make several versions of “Manhattan Clam Chowder,” none of which is particularly authentic, but then again, this is a soup named for Manhattan. Of all places in the world, this is the one where everyone belongs and everyone is unique, if not downright quirky. So consider this a mandate to scoff at tradition and do it your way.

This version doesn’t use bacon and relies heavily on vegetable gusto.

Manhattan Clam Chowder (without bacon)

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 cup onion, peeled and chopped fine

3-5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine

½ cup red pepper, chopped fine

½ Cup carrot, peeled and chopped (first in quarters lengthwise, then in thin slices)

½ Cup celery stalks, peeled and sliced into small chunks

Two medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½ inch squares

4 cups vegetable juice (low sodium preferred)*

1 bay leaf

Four 5.5 oz cans of chopped clams, juices reserved

1 Tbs dried oregano (2 Tbs fresh, chopped)

1 Tbs dried parsley (2 Tbs fresh, chopped)

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot at medium high until fragrant and very liquid. Stir in onions to coat, lower heat to medium and add red pepper and garlic. Cook an additional minute. Add carrots and celery and cook until beginning to get tender, about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add potatoes and stir to coat, then add vegetable juice, bay leaf, and reserved clam juice. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add clams, oregano, and parsley and cook for an additional five minutes. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Serve with oyster crackers or saltines and spike with sriracha, Tabasco or other red pepper-based hot sauce.

*If you happen to have an additional bottle of clam juice in the pantry, you may substitute a cup of the vegetable juice with the bottled clam juice to pump up the briny flavor

Tapas 4: Clams and Chorizo: keeping the salt at bay (haha!)

27 Dec

Clams and chorizo are delicious, gorgeous, easy  and lightning-fast to make, but be forewarned: the brine in the clams is so strong that the dish often turns out too, too salty.

I think I am going to start throwing peeled raw potatoes into the brine to soak up some of the salt; the flavors of this dish also harmonize with garbanzos (chick peas/ceci) so I may try adding a low-sodium can of those.  Kate from England suggests soaking clams in milk, but I usually use the clams in the shell…Any other suggestions are welcome!

Have a lot of good crusty bread available

Clams & Chorizo

3 TBs olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ lb chorizo, peeled and coarsely chopped

¾ Cup dry white wine

2 lbs small clams in shells (or cockles or a mix) scrubbed

1 tsp parsley, chopped

Make sure you have tongs handy!

In a large pot, heat oil then briefly sauté garlic (do not brown). Add chorizo and sauté briefly, just until the oil begins to color. Add wine and bring to a boil. (This is where I think I’ll add garbanzos or potatoes in the future) Add clams and cover, then after a couple of minutes, open pot and begin to pull clams out with tongs as they open (they will get chewy if allowed to overcook even by seconds!). Put them in a serving dish with sides. If using potatoes, cook at low heat until they become tender. Stir parsley into the cooking liquid then pour over clams and serve (shells on) with crusty bread.

%d bloggers like this: