Steamed Top Neck Clams with White Wine, Thyme and Herbed Cheese
Perfecting steamed clams has been elusive to me until recently. At the market, fishmongers have guided me that the best eating clams are little necks. The common instruction has been that Little Necks Clams are steaming clams and Top Neck Clams are more for soups and stews.
Little necks clams are small and delicate. They are good but I was always a little disappointed because I expected more flavor. A few months ago, I followed my gut, picked up some Top Neck Clams and discovered that this clam had the more intense taste and texture I was looking for. I enjoy the flavor of a clam that is meaty and slightly chewy. I’m sure Little Necks have a place in a dish but to me Top Neck Clams are a better eating clam. Top Neck Clams are about double the size of Little Neck Clams and have a much more pronounced ‘clam’ flavor. Try 'em, they're good!
Steamed Top Neck Clams in a Thyme Wine Sauce
1 dozen top neck clams 1 cup dry white wine 1 ½ tbsp an herb cheese 2 sprigs of thyme – pull leaves off 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf Italian parsley - finely chopped 1/ 2 lemon cut in quarters 1 ½ tbsp butter
In a medium stockpot with lid on medium high heat, add wine and bring to a simmer for three minutes. Stir in herb cheese and thyme. Add clams and cover with lid to steam until clams open, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon place clams in a serving dish. Add parsley to the steaming liquid and pour over clams. Serve with lemon and melted butter on the side.
Food is so intriguing. I’ve always loved to cook whether it’s casual and simple or complicated and elegant. After living in the Midwestern United States all my life I find myself jumping between All-American foods and foods from other cultures. There is definitely a sense of comfort with cooking and enjoying food that I’ve grown up with.
I have a voracious curiosity to learn about all cultures, especially the Middle East/Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai foods. I’ve learned that a simple curry dish or an Asian dumpling can transform your mood and be just as much of a comfort food as the foods you’ve known you’re whole life.
It is fascinating to me how each culture has such a diversity of ingredients, and when used with different combinations and cooking techniques you can easily transform the same few ingredients into a multitude of dishes. The unfamiliar, the diverse ingredients and techniques, can be intimidating to many people. I’ve created this blog to chronicle and share my explorations in the kitchen so that hopefully you will want to start experimenting in your kitchen.