There are always first for everything in this world, and they do not always go well, but are almost always learning experiences. Last night was my first attempt at cooking little neck clams.
I have often wanted to attempt cooking a mussel or clam. They are delicious, first off, but seemed to me to always be something of a major milestone in cooking. You only have so much control over what happens. Sometimes they just don’t open. And there’s a level of cooking expertise required in it, I feel. Eating raw seafood can be a dangerous thing.
But last night, I took the plunge. In my effort to cook through Anne Burrell’s Own Your Kitchen, I decided her steamed clams with garlic, fennel, and tomatoes was the way to go. Oh, and little neck clams were on sale for $.50 a clam. Perfect!
What amazes me the most about the whole thing is the relative simplicity to the ingredients. There were five: garlic, fennel, tomatoes, wine, and clams. And those things coming together can produce something so flavorful, it’s amazing.
So Jeremy was gone last night, but on his way home, and I got to cook my meal in complete silence. It was beautiful. I scrubbed the clams down, chopped all my ingredients, and listened to the sizzle and bubble in my house, and nothing else.
The coolest part of the whole experience was watching the clams open. Jeremy, who eventually came home only to reap the spoils of my labor, and I stood over the stove and watched as these little clams finally let go, and their shells unhinged upward in defeat. It happens so fast, and it was so cool to watch your meal come alive.
And when it was all over, we sat with out crusty garlic bread and feasted. The clams were so good. And the best part of any shellfish dish is the broth. Ugh, if I do say so myself…YUM! It was a fantastic meal. So I toss up another kudos to Chef Anne for her culinary genius, and can’t wait to flip the page and see what other adventures lie before me.