Little Neck Clams Recipe: A Simple and Delicious Seafood Dish – Seaco Online
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Little Neck Clams Recipe: A Simple and Delicious Seafood Dish

If you're a seafood lover, little neck clams are probably one of your favourite appetizers. These small, sweet clams are perfect for steaming and serving with butter and garlic. They're also a great addition to pasta dishes, soups and stews. In this article, we'll share a delicious little neck clams recipe that's easy to make at home.

Fresh clams in a bowl with garlic, parsley, and white wine. Lemon wedges and a crusty baguette on the side

Before we get started, it's important to know how to select and prepare your little neck clams. When buying clams, look for ones that are tightly closed or close when tapped. Discard any that are open and won't close when tapped. To clean the clams, rinse them under cold running water and scrub them with a brush to remove any sand or debris.

Now that you know how to prepare your clams, let's move on to the cooking techniques. There are numerous ways to cook little neck clams, but steaming is the most popular method. Steaming the clams in a broth made with white wine, garlic and butter is a simple and delicious way to enjoy them. Whether you're serving them as an appetizer or adding them to a pasta dish, little neck clams are a great addition to any meal.

Key Takeaways

  • Little neck clams are a delicious and versatile seafood that can be steamed and served with butter and garlic or added to pasta dishes, soups and stews.
  • When buying clams, look for ones that are tightly closed or close when tapped. Discard any that are open and won't close when tapped.
  • Steaming the clams in a broth made with white wine, garlic and butter is a simple and delicious way to enjoy them.

Preparing the Clams

The clams are being washed and scrubbed under running water before being steamed in a pot with garlic, white wine, and parsley

Before cooking little neck clams, it's important to clean and soak them properly. Follow these simple steps to ensure your clams are clean and free of sand:

Cleaning and Soaking

  1. Rinse the clams under cold running water to remove any debris or dirt from the shells.
  2. Scrub the shells with a brush to remove any stubborn dirt or barnacles.
  3. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add 1/3 cup of sea salt per gallon of water.
  4. Place the clams in the saltwater solution and let them soak for at least 30 minutes, up to two hours.
  5. After soaking, rinse the clams under cold running water to remove any excess salt.

Purging Sand

To purge the clams of sand, follow these steps:

  1. Make a solution of 1/3 cup of sea salt per gallon of water.
  2. Place the clams in the saltwater solution and let them soak for at least two hours, up to overnight.
  3. After soaking, rinse the clams under cold running water to remove any excess salt and sand.

By properly cleaning and soaking your little neck clams, you'll ensure they are free of sand and debris and ready to be cooked to perfection.

Cooking Techniques

Clams being steamed in a pot with white wine, garlic, and herbs, releasing their briny aroma as they open

Steaming Clams

Steaming is a classic and popular way to cook little neck clams. It is a simple technique that preserves the natural flavour of the clams. To steam clams, you will need a large pot with a lid, water, and a steaming basket. Add enough water to the pot to cover the bottom, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Place the steaming basket in the pot and add the cleaned clams. Cover the pot with a lid and steam for about 5 minutes, or until the clams open. Discard any clams that do not open.

Creating the Sauce

The sauce is the key to making a great little neck clam dish. A classic sauce is made with garlic, white wine, and butter. In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add some minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Add some dry white wine and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add some butter and stir until melted. Add some chopped parsley and black pepper to taste. Add the steamed clams to the skillet and toss to coat with the sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Little neck clams can be served as an appetizer or as a main course. They are delicious with crusty bread to soak up the sauce. You can also serve them over cooked pasta, such as linguine or spaghetti. To make linguine with clams, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. In a large skillet, heat some garlic butter over medium heat. Add some fresh minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Add some white wine and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add the steamed clams and toss to coat with the sauce. Serve the clams over the cooked pasta with some lemon wedges on the side.

Little neck clams are a great source of protein and can be a healthy addition to your diet. They are easy to prepare and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Try different recipes and cooking techniques to find your favourite way to enjoy these delicious little clams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fresh little neck clams arranged on a bed of ice, with a lemon wedge and a sprig of parsley for garnish

What's the best way to prepare little neck clams with pasta?

One classic recipe for little neck clams with pasta is linguine with clam sauce. Cook the linguine according to the package instructions. In a separate pan, heat some butter and garlic. Add the little neck clams, white wine, and clam juice. Cook for a few minutes until the clams open up. Serve the clams and sauce over the cooked linguine.

How should one properly eat little neck clams?

To eat little neck clams, hold the shell with one hand and use a small fork or your fingers to pull the clam meat out of the shell. Dip the clam meat in the sauce or broth and enjoy!

What's the difference between little neck and other types of clams?

Little neck clams are small, hard-shell clams that are typically about 1-2 inches in size. They are known for their tender, sweet, and briny flavor. Other types of clams, such as quahogs, are larger and have a tougher texture.

For how long should one cook clams to ensure they're done just right?

To cook little neck clams, steam them in a covered pot with a small amount of liquid (such as white wine or broth) for about 5-7 minutes, or until the shells open up. Discard any clams that do not open. Overcooking clams can make them tough and rubbery.

Could you suggest a top-notch recipe for little neck clams linguine?

Try this recipe for little neck clams linguine: Cook the linguine according to the package instructions. In a separate pan, heat some butter and garlic. Add the little neck clams, white wine, and clam juice. Cook for a few minutes until the clams open up. Serve the clams and sauce over the cooked linguine, and top with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.

What are the health benefits of including little neck clams in your diet?

Little neck clams are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. They are also low in fat and calories. Including little neck clams in your diet can help support healthy blood cells, boost energy levels, and support immune function.