Little Neck Clams: A Guide to Buying, Cooking and Enjoying Them – Seaco Online
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Little Neck Clams: A Guide to Buying, Cooking and Enjoying Them

Little Neck Clams: A Guide to Buying, Cooking and Enjoying Them

Little neck clams are a type of clam that is popular in seafood dishes. They are small and tender, and their sweet flavour makes them a favourite among seafood lovers. Little neck clams are often used in Italian cuisine, where they are served in a variety of dishes such as pasta and risotto.

A pile of little neck clams sits on a bed of ice, their shells tightly closed, glistening in the light

When it comes to preparing and cooking little neck clams, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to purchase fresh clams from a reputable source. Look for clams that are tightly closed, as this indicates that they are still alive. Before cooking, rinse the clams in cold water to remove any sand or debris.

Once the clams are clean, they can be cooked in a variety of ways. Steaming is a popular method, as it preserves the natural flavour and texture of the clams. Little neck clams can also be grilled or baked, depending on your preference. With a little bit of care and attention, you can create delicious dishes that showcase the unique flavour of little neck clams.

Key Takeaways

  • Little neck clams are small and tender, with a sweet flavour that is popular in Italian cuisine.
  • When preparing and cooking little neck clams, it is important to purchase fresh clams and rinse them thoroughly.
  • Little neck clams can be cooked by steaming, grilling, or baking, depending on your preference.

Little Neck Clams Overview

A pile of little neck clams scattered on a bed of sand with water droplets glistening on their smooth shells

If you're a seafood lover, you've probably heard of Little Neck Clams. These small, hard-shelled clams are a popular delicacy in many parts of the world, especially in the United States, where they are often served steamed or in pasta dishes.

Species and Habitat

Little Neck Clams, scientifically known as Mercenaria mercenaria, are a species of clam that are native to the East Coast of North America. They are found in shallow waters, such as Little Neck Bay in Long Island, and are often harvested by hand. Little Neck Clams are small in size, measuring only 1 1/2 to 2 inches across, with 10 to 12 clams per pound.

Culinary Profile

Little Neck Clams have a sweet, briny flavour that is perfect for steaming or adding to pasta dishes. They are often served with garlic and white wine broth, which enhances their natural flavour. When cooked, Little Neck Clams have a tender, chewy texture that is satisfying to eat.

If you're looking for a simple and delicious seafood dish, Little Neck Clams are a great choice. They are easy to prepare and can be cooked in just a few minutes. Whether you're a seafood lover or just looking to try something new, Little Neck Clams are definitely worth a try.

Preparing and Cooking Little Neck Clams

Clams being scrubbed, then steamed in a pot with garlic, white wine, and herbs

If you want to enjoy the taste of fresh and delicious little neck clams, it's important to know how to prepare and cook them properly. In this section, we'll cover everything you need to know about cleaning and storing little neck clams, cooking methods, and some delicious recipes and pairings.

Cleaning and Storage

Before you start cooking little neck clams, you need to clean them properly. Rinse them thoroughly under cold running water to remove any surface grit. You can also use a colander to make sure all the sand is removed.

After cleaning, you need to store the clams properly. Keep them in a plastic bag or container and store them in the fridge. Before cooking, make sure to check if any of the clams are open. If they are open, tap them lightly on a surface and see if they close. If they don't close, discard them as they are dead and not safe to eat.

Cooking Methods

There are several methods you can use to cook little neck clams. One popular method is steaming. To steam little neck clams, place them in a pot with a little bit of water and cover the pot with a lid. Cook the clams for about 5-7 minutes until they are fully open.

Another method is sautéing. Heat some butter and garlic in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the clams and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they are fully open.

You can also boil little neck clams. Place them in a pot of boiling water and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they are fully open.

Recipes and Pairings

Little neck clams are versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes. One classic recipe 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 are fully open. Toss the linguine with the clam sauce and some chopped parsley.

Another delicious recipe is garlic butter steamed little neck clams. Melt some unsalted butter in a pan and add some fresh minced garlic. Add the little neck clams and some white wine. Cook for a few minutes until the clams are fully open. Serve with some lemon wedges and crusty baguette.

Little neck clams also make a great appetizer. Serve them chilled with some cocktail sauce or seafood salad.

When pairing little neck clams with wine, a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice. You can also pair them with a light beer or a chilled glass of Prosecco.

In summary, little neck clams are a delicious and healthy seafood option. With the right preparation and cooking methods, you can enjoy their unique flavour and texture in a variety of dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

A pile of little neck clams arranged on a bed of ice, with a sign reading "Frequently Asked Questions" displayed prominently above them

How do you prepare little neck clams?

Preparing little neck clams is easy and straightforward. First, you'll need to clean them by scrubbing them under cool water. Then, you can steam them in a pot with garlic and white wine broth or sauté them with garlic and onions in olive oil. It only takes a few minutes to cook them, and they can be served alone or with pasta.

Where can I find little neck clams for sale?

You can find little neck clams for sale at your local fishmonger or seafood market. They are also available at some grocery stores and online retailers who specialize in seafood.

What's the going rate for little neck clams?

The price of little neck clams can vary depending on where you buy them and the time of year. Generally, they cost around £10-£15 per pound, but prices can be higher or lower depending on the market.

Can you eat little neck clams raw?

While it is possible to eat little neck clams raw, it is not recommended due to the risk of foodborne illness. It's best to cook them thoroughly before eating.

What's the nutritional value of little neck clams?

Little neck clams are packed with nutrients, including protein, iron, and vitamin B12. They are also low in fat and calories, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

How do little neck clams differ from steamers?

Little neck clams and steamers are both types of clams, but they differ in size and taste. Little neck clams are smaller and sweeter, while steamers are larger and have a more briny taste. Both can be cooked in similar ways, but little neck clams are often used in pasta dishes, while steamers are typically served with butter or broth.