Things I have learned recently: Cooking clams is kind of creepy. Fresh cooked clams are delicious. I will somehow have to reconcile these facts.
I love seafood. However, I have never personally cooked fresh clams before. I consider myself a pescetarian, and am slightly weirded out by cooking animals in general. But how can you not be, really? I suppose I sort of knew they were still alive when I purchased them, but I wasn't prepared to hear them making noises when I cleaned them. They also make a noise when you cook them, which might be attributed to the shells opening in the heat, or them suffering in hot liquid. And because I felt guilty about all that, I almost did not eat them. That would have been a mistake for two reasons: 1) they were already dead at that point 2) they were fantastically delicious. Sorry clams.
While this is beginning to sound like an altogether unappealing post, if you decide to cook clams, I say go for it. Someone else will eat them if you don't. Here's a simple recipe if this is your first try:
1 lb of fresh clams (cleaned)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch dried parsley
1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
small bunch of fresh chives (optional garnish)
Melt butter in pan, add garlic and saute briefly. Add wine, dried herbs, pepper and clams. Steam with the lid on for about 5 minutes (until all the shells open up). Ladle clams and broth into bowls. Snip fresh chives over bowls. Serve with toasted bread, and a glass of chardonnay. Serves 2 as an appetizer or light dinner.