To squeeze every last drop out of my week at the shore, I decided to stop for a night at my parents’ house in Barnegat (about 10 miles inland from LBI) before heading home. On the way off the island, I stopped by Boulevard Clams, a local eatery and fish market, and Anchor Produce Market, a small food shop next door. I picked up clams for an afternoon snack.
Clams are a great summer (or really any season) treat for those glorious hours in the late afternoon on vacation spent snacking, drinking, chatting, relaxing, and getting ready for dinner (if you vacation like my family.) Be sure to scrub the shells clean with a brush and discard any that are not tightly closed, then all you have to do is cook them until they open up and add any seasoning you want. On the grill finished with some garlic butter and parsley is one of my favorite ways to have clams, but today I steamed them.
- Two dozen littleneck clams
- A few cloves of garlic, finely grated
- Half a stick of salted butter
- A few sprigs of fresh parsley, minced
- Half a bottle of grapefruit beer
- A few tablespoons of lemon juice
- About a teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- A splash of mirin
- Salt and pepper
- A splash of heavy cream
This made enough for a hearty snack for three people, but would serve more if everyone just wants a few.
I browned the garlic in the butter, added everything else but the clams, cream, and parsley, brought it up to a boil, then let it simmer for a few minutes. I whisked in the cream, brought it back to a boil, then used the broth to steam the clams in a pot (lid on, at a low simmer) for seven or eight minutes, until they opened up. There were two that didn’t open, so I threw them out. I tossed on parsley at the last minute and served with bread for dipping in the broth. Just a note… this was way more complicated than it has to be. Tossing some white wine and garlic together as the broth and steaming the clams in that broth works just fine.