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Top Rated Littleneck Clam Recipes

Toss clams in a charred, spicy-sweet butter for the most delicious of summer seafood recipes.This recipe is courtesy of Half Baked Harvest.

NYC’s Legasea Seafood Brasserie at Moxy Times Square serves their “Legasea Great Big Lobster Bake” nightly all summer-long and as the star of their new Sunday family-style dinner menu since it's perfect for sharing! The recipe, developed by Chef Jason Hall, is packed with seafood and made with a flavorful tomato sauce. Cook the poatoes, corn, scallops, shrimp and lobster ahead of time to make it the perfect party-dish.Pro tip: Serve with a crusty bread to sop up the leftover sauce!Watch this recipe video and follow along at home!

My variation of surf n turf, this recipe gets fully outfitted with a grilled pork chop, Littleneck clams, and asapargus-and-bacon kebabs.

Clams are one of the easiest foods to prepare. All you need to do is toss them in a pot with a little moisture, put the lid on until they open up, and enjoy. This recipe teams the clams with flavors that complement them nicely: white wine, garlic, and bacon. This recipe will yield a bit more broth than you might be expecting — all the better to sop up with some crusty bread.Click here to see Sensational Summer Clam Recipes.

Steamed Littleneck Clams in garlic and oil Recipe

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  • 2lbs. littleneck clams
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1/4c chopped onion
  • 1T.minced garlic
  • 1/4c water or white wine
  • salt,pepper,parsley to taste


How to make it

  • Rinse clams in cold water
  • In lg pot,heat oil and saute onions and garlic 60 seconds.
  • Add water or wine,clams and season to taste.
  • Cover,steam till clams open,about 8-10 mins.
  • Serve with melted butter and broth
  • Note: I sometimes saute chopped prosciutto or chorizo with garlic and onion. Also,sometimes add chopped tomato at the end.
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The Cook

The Rating

You have won a place in my heart. I love steamers and wish every day that I could live in a place where I can get them fresh. We don't see them often here in the midwest but when I can find some little necks I will be using this recipe. YUM YUM! Than. more

I love steamers. this is great.. Have to see if the store still has them!

I think this dish would do well as a spanish tapas also. It is so simple yet has great taste. Nothing like wine and garlic. Yummy!

  • 1 lb Cherry Tomatoes (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Sweet Onion (chopped)
  • 3 teaspoons Chopped Garlic (green germ removed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Basil or Sweet Marjoram (chopped)
  • 1 lb Liguine (preferably durum wheat)
  • 3 dozens Littleneck Clams

Wash and quarter the cherry tomatoes. Place them in a 4-cup measure an press down several times. Pour off the seeds and tomato liquid. Heat the olive oil in a medium nonreactive saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the tomatoes. Cook for 3 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Stir in the red pepper flakes and herbs. Cover the pan and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, and add the pasta. Gently boil until the linguine is cooked through but still firm (al dente), 10 to 15 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending upon how long the pasta has been sitting around the grocer.

Meanwhile, put the clams in a large, shallow, nonreactive saucepan, add 2 to 3 tablespoons water, cover the pan, and cook over high heat for 3 to 5 minutes. After 3 minutes, remove any clams that have opened. Continue steaming until virtually all the clams have opened. Discard any that are still closed. Pour off the clam juice. You should have about 1-1/2 cups. Put the juice in a sauce pan and rapidly boil until it reduced to 1/3 or 1/2 cup. Add to the tomato sauce. Add salt to taste.

Drain the pasta and serve with the sauce. Garnish with the remaining clams in their shells.

What are Littleneck Clams? (with pictures)

Littleneck clams are members of the Veneridae family, a large family of mollusks that includes many commercially valuable species. “Littleneck” is not a taxonomic classification, and people use it in varying ways in different parts of the world to refer to several different clam species. This can be both confusing and irritating, although most clams referred to with this name share a number of characteristics that make them very similar on the table, although they are found in different regions of the world.

These clams are bivalve mollusks, meaning that they have a two part shell with a more or less symmetrical top and bottom. They are also roughly circular in shape, in contrast with more oblong edible mollusks like soft-shell clams. The shell is usually ridged, sometimes quite deeply, and it is pale gray to green in color. The inside houses the soft body of the clam, which is surrounded by watery blood, as clams and other mollusks have an open circulatory system.

People have eaten various mollusks for centuries, both raw and cooked and in a wide range of recipes. In the case of littleneck clams, people burrow for the shells in intertidal zones or estuaries, where the mollusks bury themselves in deep sand and mud, filtering tidal waters for nutrients and necessary oxygen. Clams can be steamed, fried, boiled, sauteed, or roasted as part of a stuffing in a larger animal like a turkey.

Littleneck clams are also hard shelled, meaning that their shells are firm and tough to crack. So-called “soft-shelled” clams have more brittle shells that are subject to breakage, although they are far from soft in the conventional sense. In some regions of the world, people refer to small versions of quahog clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) as "littleneck." In the Pacific Northwest, many people call the Pacific Clam (Prothothaca staminea) a “common littleneck.”

When it comes to eating mollusks, smaller is often better, as smaller ones will be less chewy. The same holds true with littleneck clams, also known as steamer clams. When shoppers are choosing clams to eat, they should look for medium sized to small specimens, rather than going for the biggest clams they see. Clams should be alive at the time of purchase this means that that their shells will snap shut when tapped. Ideally, cooks should store clams under refrigeration in a colander or another device that drains readily, allowing the bodily fluids to drain away rather than accumulating.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Other Recipes You Might Like

As I love seafood, I indulged in meals after meals of them, such as this Italian sauteed clams.

I love clams, but when you have fresh clams on skillet cooked with tomatoes, white wine, garlic and herb, you practically have a perfect dish.

The briny and savory taste of clams pairs flawlessly with the ingredients.

You don&rsquot have to be in Italy or an expensive Italian restaurant to savor this mouthwatering sauteed clams.

This recipe is extremely easy and takes only 15 minutes to make.

For the clams, you can use Manila clams or little neck clams.

Both delivers amazing results.

Serve these clams as an appetizer for spring parties, and make a bunch of Garlic Toast to go with them.

31 Best Clam Chowder Recipes (and More Recipes to Make With Clams)

It's hard to pick a favorite clam chowder recipe. Maybe you're partial to a creamy bowl with lots of thyme, or a tomato-based option, or a mixed-seafood chowder made with clams and cod. Bacon? Sure. Oyster crackers on top? Up to you. Still, you're missing out if you only use clams in chowder: clams are a great sustainable seafood choice that goes way beyond that classic. Below, you'll find clam chowder recipes galore, plus foolproof clams casino, a grilled clambake, epic clam-topped toast, easy pasta with clams, perfect fried clams, garlicky clam pizza, and many more. So pick up a few pounds at your local seafood market (or get digging!) and read on below.

Littleneck Clams Verde

2 Tbs. olive oil
3 shallots (about 3 oz.), peeled and thinly sliced
3 dozen littleneck clams, shells rinsed well
4 oz. white wine, sauvignon blanc preferred
1/2 cup Red Clay Verde
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, diced and kept cold
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Sliced and grilled sourdough bread (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about two minutes.

Add the clams and wine. Cover and cook them for four to five minutes, until the clams open. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the clams to a serving bowl.

Stir the Red Clay Verde into the liquid in the skillet, then whisk in the butter. Add the cilantro, then pour the mixture over the clams. Serve immediately with the bread. Optional: add fennel fronds, chives, or other fresh herbs.

Cool, Clam, and Collected: 13 Great Clam Recipes

A small amount of savory white miso paste gives New England&ndashstyle clam chowder a Japanese accent. Parsley oil adds flavor.

This simple recipe of clams cooked in a spicy Thai red curry sauce takes advantage of prepared Thai curry paste, which is available at well-stocked supermarkets and Asian-foods stores. We call for red curry paste but use whatever type you prefer. This recipe also works with mussels. Serve with crusty bread to soak up any leftover sauce.

Clam Cooking Tips

Once your clams are cleaned, you're ready to eat or cook them. The smallest clams are the most desirable for eating raw. The larger the clams are, the tougher the meat will be.

If you are going to eat unshucked clams raw, be sure to serve them cold, so the shells are easier to open. The clam juice or liquor that you saved while shucking can be poured on top of the open clams. Many people prefer to squeeze fresh lemon juice, a dash of Tabasco sauce, cocktail sauce, and horseradish as additional condiments.

Cooking clams can be tricky, but it's quick and not a difficult task. Whole clams have finished cooking when the shell opens. If the shell does not open after cooking, discard the clam. This tells you that the clam was not alive and that it may be contaminated with bacteria or toxins (this also applies to oysters and mussels).

Do not overcook clams or the meat will be like eating shoe leather. Add them to the heat at the last minute and cook gently over low heat. The longer the clams are on heat, the tougher the meat will become.

If you are making white clam chowder, to get tender clams, soak the clams in milk or cream (whichever is specified in the recipe) and add them last along with the cream. Cook only until the clams are heated through do not boil.

Larger clam shells can be boiled and scrubbed to use as unique serving bowls.

Portuguese New England Clam Boil

This recipe is inspired by my first boyfriend, who not only has Portuguese roots but also hails from the great region of New England. When he would mention these "clambakes" that would happen back in Massachusetts, I would have no idea what he was talking about (I'm from California).

Eventually, I learned that he and his friends would take part in the glorious New England tradition of building a fire, heating a layer of stones they'd found on the beach then covering the stones with wet seaweed once they were glowing and very hot. They'd then steam clams (or other shellfish) right over the top and feast on seafood, plus steamed potatoes, sausage and corn. It's a technique said to have been learned from Native Americans, and the feast is one of the most quintessential summertime meals.

This is all well and good, but it's a little impractical (and possibly illegal) for people who don't have access to an open coastline. An easier option is a clam boil, which preserves the essential elements of a clambake but makes things a little more pragmatic at home, and leaves you with the added benefit of a ton of hot, flavorful shellfish broth. Load up a pot with clams, aromatics and linguiça (spicy Portuguese sausage) for the ultimate party in a pot.

Here&rsquos how you make a seafood boil!

Be sure to read the printable recipe card because that is where I have the full recipe instructions, ingredient list and recommended products.

Shopping List:

  • kielbasa, sliced
  • chopped yellow onion
  • dry white wine or beer
  • salt, old bay seasoning, 1-2 bay leaves
  • lemon
  • small red potatoes, cut into quarters (although baby potatoes work fine)
  • sweet corn
  • cleaned fresh shrimp
  • littleneck or manila clams
  • lemon halves
  • and for extra fun, some lobster tails, snow crab legs or king crab legs (we only add this if it&rsquos on sale)
  • You will also need a large pot or big pot.

In a large stockpot:

  • Brown sliced Kielbasa on the bottom of your steam pot for 5-8 minutes,
  • Add chopped onions and cook until they are translucent,
  • Add dry white wine, salt, lemon and cups of water to the pot. Add your bay leaves.
  • Cover the pot and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Add Old Bay or your favorite seafood boil seasoning of your choice and increase the heat.
  • Add the steamer basket to the bottom of your pot and add red potatoes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add your whole live lobsters (if using), clams, and corn, halved. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and cook through, about 5 minutes. Shrimp cooks very quickly, so add these at the end so they don&rsquot get overcooked.

Use a slotted spoon to spread out your boil in a single layer in the center of the table. I cover the table with layers of newspaper or paper towel to make for an easy clean up. Serve this easy recipe with lemon wedges, extra old bay, with some melted butter and tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. I also like to put out large bowls with a cup of the broth for dipping.

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