The Little Hands Behind
No, I have not found a way to make clams out of pastry nor did I find the time to make them out of fondant. After my last post, my dear husband came to me and complained "I’m ok with you posting that I dont' bake because let’s face it, I don’t but I *do* cook. Sometimes." Yes, he does. Sometimes. Which prevents me from eating cake for lunch because I am plowing through work and often realize that it is 2pm and we have not had lunch yet. And I love when he cooks simple things like these Steamed Clams that we eat on the back deck with some bread and a glass of wine.
Living by the water is downright very nice… I’ll never take that for granted. Nor will I take my little helper for granted either.
When I last called my mom, she could hear his banging pots and pans, setting his prep area "his" way while giving me directions to please exit the premises, he never came in the kitchen when I was baking after all. Yes sir! Happily. With his teaching schedule he is home a lot and with both our independent characters, she often wonders how pots and pans have not been used as weapons of marital destruction yet. We just love hanging out together and working "independently together". My studio is next to his study and I can shout for help whenever everything is about to tumble down just as easily as he can call me over to look at a research project. We are each others' best critiques and supporters.
When he calls out from the other room "Hey! Have you thought about lunch yet?", I often want to shout back "Hey! Go fry an egg and bring me one while you’re at it!". I never actually do say that. Lately though, I have sensed that he could hear my brain scream it so loud that he decided to enter "my" territory (the kitchen) and fix us something for lunch. And what a lunch! Simple, fresh and quick.
We do catch and eat tons of seafood but I rarely think of buying clams, for no particular reason actually. I had been working on a photo project for a friend and his catering business and one of the dishes to photograph had clams. I had bought two bags, anticipating redos but everything went without a hitch and I was left with an extra bag. Since Bill is the master at steaming shellfish and seafood (you should see him take care of the crabs we get at the dock!), I told him to please go do something with the clams as I would not keep them another day.
Fifteen minutes later I was sitting in front of a bowl of perfectly steamed clams in white wine and garlic, simply garnished with a sprinke of tomato dices and a few sprigs of parsley. Guess what I did? I told him not to move and got the camera to shoot our plates. He rolled his eyes so strongly that I thought they were going to get stuck to the back of his head. He simply said "can you speed this one up, I don’t want to eat me lunch cold?!" I know many of you cooking and blogging can relate!
I enjoy photographing and writing about other things than cakes and ice creams and I might also post a few other of our favorite "go to" savory lunches or dinners in the future. Do not be alarmed if you see bacon or thyme sneaking in here and there. For now, I figured it was high time I sang Bill’s praises for being such great little hands behind the scenes.
Serves two hungry people
Kitchen note: Littleneck clams are best for steaming. These were cherrystone clams which have a tendency to toughen up faster when steamed but we remove them as soon as the shells pop open and they stay nice and soft this way. You can ommit the white wine and use fish stock or water if you can’t have alcohol. We like to eat ours with a sprinkle of lemon juice and some red wine vinegar.
2 dozen fresh clams
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup white wine
1 cup water (or clam juice if you have some)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tomato, finely diced
Wash the clams thoroughly and brush off any dirt. Heat oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat and cook the garlic for a minute. Add the wine and water and bring to a simmer. Add the clams, cover the pan and let the clams steam for about 10 minutes or until they start to pop open. Discard any clams that did not open and scoop the clams into serving bowls. Season the juice remaining in the pan with salt and pepper to taste, pour some over the clams and garnish with parsley and diced tomato.