How to Cook Clams

Clams In The Shell

Hard-shell clams are best if you plan on serving them in the shell. they can be served either raw or cooked

RAW

Raw Clams - Double Order

Raw Clams—-Click picture for photo credits

One popular way of eating clams is to serve them raw.
Make sure the clams are alive. Scrub the outside with a brush and open them. Cut the meat from the bottom shell and serve it in the top shell with a cocktail sauce or preferably just a little lemon. The smaller clams tend to be more tender.

BAKE CLAMS IN THE SHELL

Clean the outer shells and place the clams on a cookie sheet. Put them in a preheated 450 degree oven and cook them for 6-8 minutes. They should open after a few minutes.
Serve with melted butter and lemon. A sprinkling of toasted bread crumbs can be added.

Baked clams

Baked clams—Click picture for photo credits

Another method;
Boil the clams for about 5 minutes until the shells open.
Mix about a cup of seasoned bread or cracker crumbs with about ¼ cup of butter. Brown this mixture in a pan and spread on the clams.
Cook clams in a preheated 350 degree for 10-15 minutes until they are brown and slightly crispy.
If you like garlic add it to the mixture before browning. If you do this, use unseasoned cracker crumbs.

BROIL CLAMS IN THE SHELL

Place the opened clams on a cookie sheet.
Put about ½ teaspoon of seasoned butter on each clam and place them in a pre-heated broiler about 3-4 inches from the heat. Cook clams until the butter bubbles.

GRILLING CLAMS IN THE SHELL

grilled clams
David Salafia via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Place them on the grill and cook clams until they pop open. Discard any that do not open on their own.
STEAMING CLAMS IN THE SHELL
Use a deep pot with a cover.
Clean the clams and put them in the pot.
For every pound of clams add ½ cup of liquid, water or white wine.
Put the pot over high heat and cover.
Steam the clams until they open. This can take from 3 to 10 minutes depending on the type of clam. Discard any that don’t open.

HOW TO COOK CLAMS THAT ARE SHUCKED

BAKE CLAMS THAT ARE SHUCKED

Place the clams on a buttered cookie sheet or baking dish.
Bake in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for a few minutes. Cook them just until the edges begin to curl.
Serve with melted butter and lemon.

BROIL CLAMS THAT ARE SHUCKED

Place the clams on a buttered baking sheet.
Turn them over to get butter on each side.
Place the sheet in a pre-heated broiler about 3 inches from the heat. Broil them for about 3 -4 minutes, turning once.
Cook them until the edges begin to curl.

DEEP-FRYING CLAMS

fried clams

fried clams—-Click picture for photo credits

When you cook clams by deep frying, the clams are totally submerged in hot fat or oil. The pan used for deep frying should be deep enough to hold 2 to 3 inches of hot fat. A 4 to 6 inch deep pan is good because it helps to control spattering. If possible a conventional deep fryer works best.
The best oils to cook clams in are peanut oil, corn oil and canola oil in that order. Put enough oil in the pan to make sure the clams can float, usually 2 to 3 inches.
1. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. A deep frying thermometer is the best way to regulate heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, wet you finger with water and flick it at the hot oil. If the oil is hot enough it will sizzle when the water hits the oil. You don’t need much water, just a small drop. Do not let the oil get too hot. If it starts to smoke it is too hot.
2. Prepare the batter or breading.
3. Bread or batter the clams and lower them gently into the hot fat. If you are using a conventional deep fryer have the basket in the oil before you add the breaded clams. Do not put the clams in the basket and then submerge or the clams will get stuck on the basket and you will lose some of the breading. Do not crowd the clams. It is better to cook them in batches. If you put to many pieces in the hot fat at one time it will lower the temperature of the oil and cause the clams to be greasy.
4. Cook clams until golden brown, usually about 2 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness.
5. When they are done drain them. Placing them on a rack above a cookie sheet works great but if you don’t have that, paper towels on a plate will work.
BATTERS FOR DEEP FRYING
BEER BATTER
Combine; ½ cup of flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
½ cup beer
2 tablespoons cooking oil
EGG BATTER
Combine; 2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
Beat the eggs and milk together lightly.
Dip the clams in the egg mixture then in dry bread crumbs or cracker crumb

GRILLING SHUCKED CLAMS

Place the clams on a buttered piece of aluminum foil.
Place the foil on the grill over medium heat until the edges of the clams begin to curl.
It is hard to give a length of time for grilling. It can depend on things like the weather, or the temperature of the grill but 5-10 minutes is average.

PAN-FRYING CLAMS

Prepare the coating.
Rinse the shucked clams under cold running water and pat them dry.
Dip them in cold milk, buttermilk or a mixture of 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 eggs.
Roll the clams in one of the following and set aside for a few minutes to dry.
flour potato buds, corn meal, fine cracker crumbs, pancake mix, biscuit mix, fine dry bread crumbs, corn flake crumbs.
Place cooking oil or a combination of ½ butter and ½ oil in a heavy skillet to a depth of ¼ inch.
Heat the oil until it is sizzling but not smoking. To test the temperature of the oil, sprinkle a drop of water on the oil. If it is hot enough, the water will sizzle.
Place the clams in the hot oil and cook them for about 2 minutes on each side.

POACHING CLAMS

Prepare poaching liquid and bring to a boil.
Lower the clams into the liquid and immediately reduce the heat to as low as possible.
Poach for 2-5 minutes until the edges begin to curl.
Remove from heat and serve.

SAUTEEING OR FRYING CLAMS

Make a mixture of ½ cooking oil and ½ butter. Cover the bottom of a frying pan to a depth of about 1/8 inch.
Coat the clams with a light dusting of seasoned flour.
Sauté over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Cook until the edges begin to curl.

STEAMING CLAMS

In the steaming process the clams never touch the water but are suspended above the water on a rack. Use a pan big enough to hold a steamer rack. An inverted bowl can be used with a rack or plate on top of it just high enough to keep the clams out of the water and allowing the pan to be covered.
Place 1-2 inches of water into the pan and add the steamer rack.
Bring the water to a boil.
Place the clams on the rack and cover the pan.
When the steam starts to escape from the pot, start timing. About 3 minutes should be enough.

 

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