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Little Neck Clams w/ Fresh Herb, Chilli and Garlic broth

Little Neck Clams w/ Fresh Herb, Chilli and Garlic broth

Little Neck Clams w/ Fresh Herb, Chilli and Garlic broth

From the pages of Go Fish

Serves 6

Known to most as cockles, the correct name for these shellfish is actually littleneck clams. Found in abundance in harbours and estuaries up and down the country, these delicious-eating clams flourish in the intertidal zone and can be as dense as 4500 per square metre. Harvested commercially from as far north as Whangarei Harbour to the inlets of Dunedin Peninsula using accepted sustainable methods, littleneck clams are available practically all year round. They have quite a small flesh-to-shell ratio, but they give up a good amount of particularly flavourful briny liquor when cooked. Though chowders are the most famous tyoe of clam dish, I end up normally cooking these delicacies using slight variations of the below recipe. I love to rustle up the kids, grab and onion sack and for a gather at low tide. I can't think of a quicker, more satisfying meal than clams in a pot, with a splash of white wine, garlic, herbs and butter. Plenty of warm crusty bread for soaking up the broth makes perfect sense.

Ingredients

48 littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 1/2 tablespoons finely diced garlic
pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 cup white wine
2 cups of chicken stock
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter

Method

Place the clams along with the garlic, chilli flakes, wine, stock and the lemon juice and zest in a large saucepan, cover with a lid and place on high heat.
Cook for about 5 minutes. Give the saucepan a shake to mix up the ingredients and help the clams open.
Once open, remove the clams immediately with a slotted spoon, reserving the cooking liquid, and divide the clams into warm serving bowls.
Place the cooking liquid back on medium heat, add the basil and parsley, then whisk in the butter. Once the butter is incorporated, pour the broth over the clams. Serve now.

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