Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Zealand Littleneck Clams

Fairways never disappoints, and if you don’t have one in your area, I apologize ahead of time.  Each week I go I am excited to see whats on my fishmongers menu as it varies with availability and or season.  Well I was sure I was getting a whole Branzino (one of my favorite fish), but right by the regular Littleneck Clams was a delightful collection of the New Zealand version.  I had to grab them. Here’s a little info about these little gems.

This clam, more traditionally known as the New Zealand cockle, tuaki or tuangi, is the single most abundant large invertebrate animal found on intertidal sand flats in sheltered harbors and estuaries throughout New Zealand.  They have been exported to a dozen countries for over twenty years. These carefully managed wild stocks are harvested in the brilliantly clear unpolluted waters of New Zealand’s Southern Pacific Ocean, on the Otago Coast located on southeast New Zealand).

Now the easiest way to prepare these is with a 20 minute soak, a good scrub, dry and they are ready.  I pefer to soak in water  with sea salt and these really didn’t need a soak longer than the 20 minutes.  You will find more work necessary with sandier clams.

Now these clams are meaty sweet and succlent and do not need a lot of work. Here is my take on about a pound and a half of these to create an appetizer.  I was gonna make it with pasta but if simply did not survive my husband.  I finally gave in and enjoyed with a good glass of wine.

1 chopped onion
¼ cup of Italian parsley
2 tablespoons of capers (in brine and do not rinse, this will be your salt)
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste 
2 tablespoon each butter and olive oil

Add oil and butter to hot wide saucepan
Add cleaned clams and all seasonings.  Stir vigorously and quickly and then cover.

  On high heat this should take about five minutes of so for all of the clams to explode and release the delicious liquor inside.  

That’s it!  Its quick delicious healthy and so simple.  It is absolutely  delish with pasta but as in this case, we never got that far! 

Don’t let clams intimidate you from enjoying the wonders of the sea! Here’s to Good Eats! 

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