Monday, July 31, 2017

One Pot Clam Bake

  Here's a dish that I've been wanting to share for quite a long time! I was going to post it last summer (since this is clearly a summer dish), but I had quite a lot going on at that time and before I knew it, the season got away from me. Luckily I was able to get my act together in time to post it this year!
 Ok so lets get  to it! The first time I made this was once upon a long long time ago... like, literally decades ago... and it was SO delicious! But when I went to do it again, I swear I could not remember what recipe I used. All I knew was that it had clams, potatoes, and corn on the cob... and that the sauce had white wine, butter, and garlic.  Sounds good, right? But I had no clue what I did or where I got it. So I did some googling, and finally decided that THIS recipe came closest to what I remembered doing that one time all those years ago. It's from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, and it's absolutely delish! Not only that, it's really super easy to do. Wait, it's not even super easy... it's STUPID EASY to do. I'm not even kidding. You literally just keep adding things to the pot, and in less than a half hour, boom, dinner's ready! Make it for friends and you'll impress the hell out of everyone. (No one needs to know how easy it was!) Serve it with the rest of the bottle of white wine, (or 2 or 3 bottles LOL) and it's a "summer by the shore" party! Oh, and don't forget the crusty bread for dipping into the sauce. That's key! I'm definitely putting this one on my summer menu and I think you should too! This one's a keeper!

1 1/4 cups dry white wine 
6 cloves garlic, peeled  
2 large shallots, quartered and peeled (root end left intact) 
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes  
1/2 tsp Red-pepper flakes (optional) 
6 ears corn, shucked and halved  
5 dozen clams, cleaned*
2 lemons, quartered 
1 pound shell-on extra-jumbo shrimp (16 to 20)  
4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley  
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves 

  In a 12-quart stockpot, bring wine and 3/4 cup water to a boil. Add garlic, shallots, potatoes, and 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, if using; cover and cook 8 minutes. Add corn, clams, and lemons; cover and cook until clams have opened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add shrimp in a single layer, cover, turn off heat, and let sit until shrimp are opaque throughout, about 3 minutes.
 With tongs or a spider, transfer shellfish and vegetables to a serving platter, setting lemons aside; discard any unopened clams. Pour broth into a bowl and whisk in butter, parsley, and oregano. Scrape flesh from half the lemons into broth, discarding skins. Serve shellfish and vegetables with remaining lemons and broth for dipping.

*Joey's tips for cleaning clams:
First, inspect the clams and remove any that have broken shells. If any are slightly open, give them a little tap. If they don't close immediately, then toss them too. Now place all of the clams in a large bowl of cold water. Let them sit for about a half hour. This will encourage the clams to expel any sand. I've heard that sprinkling a little corn meal into the water will help to facilitate that process. When they're finished soaking, you want to lift them out of the water with your hands or tongs. Don't just dump them out into a strainer because then all of the sand that is at the bottom of the bowl will just pour back on top of the clams again. I usually give them a good scrub with a brush as I'm removing them from the bowl. Rinse the bowl of any sand or grit, and then place the clams back in the bowl for one more final rinse. Now you're ready to proceed with the recipe!

I always prefer using fresh herbs over dried, but you can use dried oregano if you don't have fresh. Just use about a teaspoon, since dried is much stronger than fresh. But definitely do NOT use dried parsley. It just doesn't compare to fresh.
I think maybe the next time I make this, I'll pull back a little on the lemon and oregano, and add a little more butter.  Just sayin!
If you like it a little spicy, add more crushed red pepper flakes! You do you!
Also, I used peeled and deveined shrimp, but just left the tails on so you have a little handle to pick them up. I just found it to be easier and more preferable!

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