I never thought I'd be someone who liked clams mainly due to that one summer at Ocean City back when I was a teen. One too many fruit punches combined with greasy, fried clams and complete arrogance to what my body could handle and before I knew it, I was hanging over a trashcan on the boardwalk. Needless to say, I cleared out a pretty wide radius of benches for me to sit on afterward.
I've recently started cooking clams more often at home and I've discovered that I might actually like them a bit more than mussels. The juice the clams create as they're steaming adds a wonderful oceanic flavor to your broth, plus, there's no de-bearding process before cooking!
This recipe is served simply with thick slices of toasted sourdough bread to soak up the spicy, lemony broth.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 50 minutes (30 minutes inactive)
16 littleneck clams
1 pound shrimp
2 tablespoons butter
3-4 hot peppers (serrano, Thai chili, or long hots)
10 cloves garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 28-ounce can cannellini beans
Crushed red pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper
Toasted sourdough bread for serving
Prep Ingredients: Rinse and scrub the clams and chill until ready to use. Pat the shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper and chill. Mince the shallots, garlic, and hot peppers. Trim the scallions and mince. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Drain and rinse the beans. Cut the lemon in half. Zest and juice one half and cut the other half into wedges for serving.
Start the Broth: Melt the butter in a wide pot (preferably a pot with a lid) over medium heat until melted and frothy. Add the the shallots, garlic, hot peppers, and minced scallions and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes until softened and aromatic. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes, reducing heat as necessary to keep the aromatics from burning. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Add the beans and chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Cook the Seafood: Bring the broth to a low boil and stir in the clams and shrimp. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until all the clams have opened up and the shrimp are opaque. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and heavy cream. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir before serving.
To Serve: Spoon the broth and seafood into bowls and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to each bowl. Serve with toasted bread and lemon wedges if desired. Enjoy!
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!