Oh how I remember steamed clams on the island. As a kid in PEI, digging for clams on the south shore was an annual summer event. With shovels in hand, we all combed the red soil sandbars for signs of breathing holes. These holes always indicating active dig sites. Off we would go turning over the soil to reveal a vast array of fresh shellfish hidden beneath the surface. Filling our buckets to the brim we would haul our catch back to the shore line and rinse them for steaming.
Beach fires and cast iron pots became our cooking tools. Beer and Vinegar our condiments. Right there on site we would have our clam bake steaming our clams in Alpine lager over the open fire pit, and rinsing them in some white vinegar before drenching them in melted butter. We would mow down pounds of these clams in one sitting tossing the shells back into the ocean along the way. Friends and family always invited new faces to share these moments with us and our community grew.
Now living in the west, re-creating these past Island moments requires a bit of imagination. We have elevated our execution from the beer and bonfire to grill and wine. Substituted the beach for our back yard, and put a bit of a sophisticated touch on the plating. Getting a few pounds of clams in Alberta is expensive. They have become delicacies to be savoured rather than fresh eats to be devoured. Now these steamed clams take centre stage in a different way. An appetizer before a larger meal, or a snack with a local craft beer. This recipe is easy and elegant. Give it a try.
Steamed Clams in White Wine Cream Sauce