Beer steamed clams with garlic butter

clams1.jpgI remember eating both steamed clams and even raw clams at my Dad's company clam bake when I was so little I was eye level with the table people cut open the raw clams on. Keep in mind that this was 37 years ago. I'm pretty sure children are no longer supposed to eat raw shellfish (at least according to the CDC).

Funny thing, though, I don't recall ever cooking clams myself!

I thought I'd start simple since I've never done this before:

I got a dozen clams. One was definitely iffy so I threw that out and put the remainder in a container of cold water, a few ice cubes, salt, and a little corn meal. Put in the refrigerator and leave for 20 minutes. [From here and here, and the tip of adding salt from What Einstein Told His Cook.]

Carefully lift each clam out, rinse under water, and set aside.

Pour some beer in the bottom of a pan with steamer basket, preferably large enough to hold the clams in one layer. Don't fill the beer too high because it will expand greatly when boiled. Add the clams and bring to a boil. Once rapidly boiling, cook for 3 to 5 minutes more. [From here.]

While the clams are boiling, heat butter (I used a half stick) and several cloves of garlic, pressed, in a small sauté pan. Be careful not the burn the garlic. When almost done, add a handful of finely chopped parsley. [From here.]

When the clams are done, remove them from the steamer. Discard any that did not open or otherwise iffy; I lost another two that way. I removed the top shell, removed the clam foot with scissors, and separated the meat from the shell, and generally cleaned up any messyness to make eating it easier.

Pour the butter, parsley, and garlic mixture over the clams on a hot plate and serve with crusty bread!

The parsley came from CSA Week #5.