Apr 25, 2014 11:13 PM GMT
NYT: One of the easiest and quickest examples is to steam clams like mussels, and serve them, along with their fragrant juices, in big bowls all by themselves. Like mussels, clams will take to whatever seasonings you’re in the mood for. And right now, after an unending winter here on the East Coast, desperate for spring, so add bracing, pungent green herbs — licorice-scented tarragon and oniony chives — along with tart lime juice and grated zest to the usual triad of garlic, chile flakes and olive oil.
But, unlike steaming mussels, when you steam clams you don’t add any liquid to the pot. When they open, clams will release enough liquid on their own to make an abundance of sauce.
As the clams open, scoop them up and put them in serving bowls. Toss out any stubborn ones that remain clamped tight after about 10 minutes. That’s a sign they were already dead when you added them to the pot, and possibly spoiled. Eating them is not a risk worth taking.
Thicken and enrich the pan juice slightly before pouring it on top of the clams. Some simmering time and a little butter does this nicely. But you can skip the butter for a soupier result.