Cook’s Country Monterey Bay Cioppino (Ep 1301)

Cook’s Country Monterey Bay Cioppino (Ep 1301)

VIDEO: How to Cook Blue Catfish Like a Pro Chef

VIDEO: How to Cook Blue Catfish Like a Pro...

September 15, 2020 Comments Off on Quick Cook: A steamy bowl of garlicky clams for the end of summer Cooking Fish, Shellfish

Quick Cook: A steamy bowl of garlicky clams for the end of summer

Quick Cook: A steamy bowl of garlicky clams for the end of summer

When summer fades and the season tilts to autumn, my senses heighten. The lower light casts a gauzy glow, stretching the shadows lazy and long. The air turns cool and sharp, tinged with the essence of dew on fallen leaves. Wind gusts grow blustery, and fog bears beads of mist and drizzle. No longer stultified by heat and humidity, my appetite grows and shifts to warmth and comfort, craving steaming bowls of chowder and stews, warm drinks and fortifying libations. This steamy bowl of buttery clams hits the spot.

I experienced a meal like this one day last fall, when I was in Washington researching a travel story on the northern coast of the Olympic peninsula. In true Pacific Northwest form, the weather was gray, foggy and misty with intermittent (i.e. frequent) rain showers. Yes, it was seasonally wet. It was also magical, mystical and magnificent. The horizon loomed with teetering mountains, shrouded in swirls of clouds and fog and bedecked with garlands of waterfalls cascading into serpentine lakes. It was desolate, due in part to the weather and also the season.

I had the roads to myself, snaking through canyons, interrupted occasionally by logging trucks barreling past, shocking me out of my reverie. I hiked to a ridge, rain be damned, with distant views to British Columbia, through a mist-laden rain forest lush with moss.

By the end of the day, I was cold, soggy and famished. I returned to sea level, to a small fishing town anchoring the mountains to the sea. There were no restaurants open at 4 p.m. but one lone storefront fish market provided counter service, and I ordered a simple bowl of garlicky clams steamed in wine and swimming in their buttery juices, with slabs of garlic bread for soaking up the sweet broth. The singular accompaniment was an icy glass of snappy local riesling. It was perfect. Since then, I’ve re-created this dish at home a number of times. It’s simple and consistently rewarding. The only thing missing is the weather.

Littleneck clams are my preferred type of clam for this recipe. They are the smallest quahog clam, with sweet and tender meat. Depending on their size, 1 pound yields 8 to 12 clams. When cleaning clams, discard any opened clams or those with broken shells before washing. Rinse the clams under cold water, gently scrubbing them clean. Once cooked, discard any unopened clams before serving.

Butter and Garlic Clams

Serves 2 to 4


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1½ cups un-oaked white wine

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds littleneck clams, about 24, rinsed and scrubbed clean

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley leaves

Lemon wedges for serving


In a large, deep skillet with a lid, melt the butter with the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and add the clams. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and steam the clams until the shells have opened, shaking the pan from time to time, 6 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the clams.

Remove the lid and discard any unopened clams. Taste the broth and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Divide the clams and cooking liquid among serving bowls and garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and garlic bread or crusty bread.

Click here to view original web page at

Comments are closed.