Whoever first pried open a clam and slurped it raw was a brave soul. But it was a glorious person who first steamed a clam open, someone who understood that the true prize of the clam, even more than its meat, is the liquid trapped inside.
Here are our best clam recipes that make the most of that lovely clam liquor as well as that tender meat, from pastas to soups (including four distinct chowders) to steaming pots of seafood, ripe for mopping with crusty bread.
Steamed clams in a light white wine-tomato sauce are studded with verdant pieces of broccoli rabe and crunchy bits of prosciutto in this easy skillet supper.
The New England classic: briny with clam liquor, smoky with bacon, more clam than potato, and a slurp of cream for good measure.
Minorcan Clam Chowder
Don’t call it Manhattan clam chowder. This tomato-based soup is Minorcan, and gets a kick of heat from chiles.
Finnan Haddie Chowder
This Scottish-style chowder adds smoked haddock and a splash of sherry for a rich flavor and smoky bite.
Potatoes with Chestnuts and Clams
These stuffed potatoes, which tenderize first in foil packets then crisp up in cast iron atop the coals (or in the oven), are packed with a mix of roasted chestnuts, bacon, and juicy whole clams. “Clams and potatoes are a match made in heaven,” says Joe Beef’s Dave McMillan of the unusual, yet welcome addition of seafood to potatoes. “Just think about clam chowder.” Get the recipe for Potatoes with Chestnuts and Clams »