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Seafood Collection: Pan-Steamed Clams
August 31st, 2011 @ 08:27 PM EST by admin

In the final installment of this series, we’ll prepare Pan-Steamed Clams.

This recipe is as easy as falling off a dock… come on… we’ve all been there at least once! One pan, no fuss, no muss, and such an incredible result!

What you will need:

3 doz. small clams, cleaned
¼ C. clam juice
¼ C. extra virgin olive oil
¼ C. dry white wine
¼ C. minced fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh breadcrumbs

Easy steps for preparation:

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. Add garlic and stir briefly… do not brown! Add clams, stirring to coat with oil. Add clam juice and white wine.

Cover and cook over low heat, shaking pan for 5 – 8 minutes… or until clams are fully opened. Add breadcrumbs and parsley while shaking pan a few more times. Serve immediately with a good crusty bread to sop up the juices.

Wow! How easy was that?

 

About the main ingredients:

Clams are both filter feeders and deposit feeders. They obtain all their required nutrients by drawing sea water through their gills and filtering out naturally occurring tiny plants and animals called plankton, as well as organic material on the seabed.

Clam farming is, by definition, green and sustainable. Clams cannot tolerate the discharge of sewage or other toxins. The presence of clam farming in coastal regions results in increased awareness and monitoring for pollution control. In addition to being important modulators of nutrient cycles in ecological systems, farmed clams help to reduce greenhouse gases by removing carbon dioxide from the ocean for shell formation.

Clams are an excellent source of protein and calcium. They are rich in minerals such as iron and zinc, contain good portions of vitamin B, and contain important levels of natural DHA omega-3 fatty acids, essential for human functions and important in reducing the risk of heart disease among other human diseases.

British Columbia is Canada’s major clam producing province. Softshell clams are farmed in Nova Scotia and Quebec, and quahaugs in Nova Scotia.

 

Pairing:

Set above the Sixteen Mile Creek, with a nature trail wending its way down from the grounds, Creekside Estate Winery offers Creekside Estate Pinot Grigio at $14.95. This well-made white wine is definitely superior to most Italian types that attempt to pass themselves off as Grigio. As well as producing their own wines, Creekside Estate is also responsible for producing both Mike Wier and Wayne Gretzky wines.

 

Hints and tips:

Consumers have enjoyed the convenience of buying in bulk for a number of years. Many local grocery stores now feature a bulk section for customer convenience. My own bulk-buying experiences have been hit and miss, but I recently discovered just how convenient buying in bulk is. Bulk prices are usually less than packaged prices…
less packaging…
less additives and fewer preservatives.

When you buy in bulk, it’s a good idea to get your cupboards in order. Using recycled plastic containers and glass jars, Rubbermaid or Ziploc containers, re-sealable bags, or re-using original containers are all options. The real key to bulk storage is labeling. Make sure all containers are airtight and clearly labeled and dated. Bulk items have a long shelf life because they have been prepared with long-term storage in mind.

I used to be concerned if bulk items were as fresh as packaged. In my experience, and using common sense, bulk items have been very fresh indeed. You’d be amazed at all the things you can buy in bulk. Check it out for yourself.

Finally, I have enjoyed preparing the installments of this 6-part series and hope that you have enjoyed them too. If you did, maybe I’ll be invited back to offer you all another series. Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts and maybe some suggestions as to what the next theme should be.

Damon G. Beggs
sparrow_nyc@sympatico.ca
Damon is owner of CATERWAITER Event Catering & Service Staff located in downtown Toronto.