I drove to the grocery store early in the morning on the hunt for dinner.
There were fresh New Zealand Littelneck clams. Perfect.
A bottle of pinot gris, a block of unsalted butter, a handful of shallots, red chiles, a bundle of fresh parsley, a lemon, and a baguette. Shopping done.
1 knob of butter
1 shallot, finely diced
1 red chile, finely diced (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely diced (optional)
1 kg of fresh clams
1 glass (or a healthy glug) of pinot gris or any other dry white wine
1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
1 lemon, quartered
Fresh, crusty baguettes
Heat the butter in a medium pan over a low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Do not let the shallots brown. After about 6 minutes, add the chiles.
When the shallots are soft, add the garlic and turn the heat up to high. When the garlic is aromatic, add the clams and the wine. When the wine begins to boil, cover the pan and continue to cook for two minutes.
After about two minutes, check the clams and pull out any clams which have opened. Remove clams to warmed bowls. Continue cooking and checking until all clams are opened or about 4-5 minutes, after which, discard any clams which remained closed. DO NOT OVERCOOK!
Add parsley to pan and pour liquor over clams reserved in warm bowls.
Serve with lemon cheeks, plenty of fresh, crusty baguettes to sop up all that lovely buttery clam liquor, and a glass of the same wine the clams were cooked with.