So, about those beautiful littleneck clams I bought from Blue Moon Fish…
I had big plans to make a New Haven-style clam pizza with Mark Bittman’s food processor pizza dough (recipe to come!), and the fact that I didn’t know the first thing about preparing fresh clams wasn’t going to stop me. It was only when we were hacking away at the stubborn little guys with our butter knives did I think, “Hmm, perhaps I should have bought a shucking knife before I bought the clams.” But nevermind that. We (ok, Matt) got them all open without losing any fingers, and let me tell you, they were delicious. It was like eating the ocean.
Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of getting too caught up in my food preparations and forgetting to take photos, so I don’t have any pictures of the fresh juicy clams swimming in their little pool of liquor on their half shells. But, in all honesty, most of our clams were a bit mangled and the shells were cracked and broken thanks to our amateur shucking job. In fact, when I slurped one down raw with a bit of hot sauce and a spritz of lemon, I crunched down on a piece of shell. There is a reason why every “How to Shuck Clams” video says you should not use anything but a clam knife.
The clams smelled exactly as fresh clams should, like the salty waters of the Atlantic. Raw, they were slightly sweet and salty, soaking in their briny liquor. Cooked, they were tender, sweet, and almost buttery. Combined with garlic, parmesan-reggiano cheese, oregano, and copious amounts of olive oil on a pizza… oh. my. god. It was perfect.
I’ll be ordering a couple of shucking knives this week so we can do it all again as soon as possible, minus the risk of slicing off our fingers.