Well, once again I was called out to aid, so am writing this from Iowa where there was some serious flooding of the Missouri River over the winter. So far, I haven’t found any particular food trend in the area I’m in. There seems to be a little bit of everything and nothing that I would consider regional. So, no Iowan recipes to come.
And ah yes, it’s officially boating season. How long we have waited. I for one, am thrilled to be out on the water again. While many of us love to be aboard a boat, I know that another favorite pastime during the season is pulling on those waders and boots, grabbing the rake and going clamming. On Long Island there are many places to go as we are surrounded by water and New Jersey and Connecticut have great shorelines. Having never experienced the sport, I won’t claim to know a thing about how to find them – all I know is that depending on whether you’re after soft shell or hard shell clams, there is a big difference in how you go about getting them. All you clammer’s will know how, so we’ll just cook them here – not try to give any advice on raking.
I think the most common dishes are Linguine with Clam sauce, steamers, clams on the half shell, chowder or the holiday favorite – baked clams. Doing some research, I found many other ways to enjoy them, though a lot of them are twists on the common dishes. Those are what I am going to give you this month. It’s like taking your favorite dish and saying “Hmm, what else can I put in here?”. So here we go.
1 (16 ounce) package linguini pasta
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. each of dried thyme & crushed red pepper flakes
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1-6 oz. can black olives, drained
10 oz. of whole baby clams, saving the juice when you open them
6.5 oz. minced clams, with juice
1/4 lb. small salad shrimp
1/4 lb. scallops
2 -1/2 tsp. lemon zest
salt & ground black pepper to taste
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook linguini until al dente. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan over medium heat sauté garlic in olive oil until garlic softens. Add Italian seasoning, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, black olives, and the juice from the clams. Simmer for 15 minutes. Mix in the whole and minced clams, shrimp, scallops, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until shrimp and clams are cooked. Toss linguine with the seafood sauce and serve. Serves 4-6
East End Clam Pie (a Hamptons favorite)
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cups clam juice
5 strips bacon, cut into 1⁄2" pieces
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
3 cups shucked steamer or cherrystone clams, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 - Homemade or store bought 9” pie crusts
Boil potatoes in clam juice in a covered pot over medium heat until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, lightly mash with a fork, and set aside.
While potatoes are cooking, sauté bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel. Add onions to bacon fat and sauté until golden, about 15 minutes. Mix together bacon, onions, parsley, thyme, clams, flour, and potatoes in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into two 12" circles. Fit 1 circle into a 9" deep-dish pie pan. Add clam filling, mounding it in the center. Top with butter. Lay remaining dough over filling. Trim dough, leaving about 1" around edge; fold under and crimp two layers together. Make a little hole in center of pie to allow steam to escape. Bake until golden, 50-55 minutes.