There is nothing quite like summer on the Cape. Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to this beautiful part of the country and spent many summers making the trip out East. It was a time to relax and unwind and we spent most of our time near the water and enjoying meals with my Dad’s family.
Some of my earliest memories of summer on Cape Cod involve my Great Uncle Ted teaching my Dad and brother how to clam. It’s quite the challenge, but once you get the hang of it, the reward is well worth the effort. Clamming is a tradition we have carried on (mostly by my Dad and brother and now Kev) but we all benefit from their hard work!
We usually end up with some large clams, or quahogs. These work well in chowder or in the classic Cape Cod recipe of stuffed quahogs. Smaller clams, or cherrystones, are great served raw, grilled, or steamed.
This steamed clam recipe cannot be any simpler. If you don’t happen to have the opportunity to get your own clams, check out your local fish market. A little bit of white wine, garlic and shallot really let the taste of the fresh clams shine through.
Clams tend to be particularly high in vitamin B12, selenium, iron, and manganese. That makes them excellent for nerve and blood cell health, protecting against cellular damage, and supporting carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
- Mignonette Sauce:
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, minced
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- For the clams:
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white white
- 3 dozen clams (small-medium in size)
- Start by making the mignonette sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Place aside.
- Now prepare the clams. If the clams are dirty, scrub them under running water.
- In a dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot, salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring.
- Now add the white wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
- Add the clams, cover the pot, and cook for 10 minutes or until the clams have opened (discard any that do not open.)
- Serve hot with mignonette sauce.