Traveling down to the local market and finding fresh littleneck clams is kind of unusual where I live. Large food markets are a good distance away so I decided to try a local market nearby. As I walked in the scent of fresh vegetables, herbs, seafood and tomatoes opened my eyes, hopefully I would I be in luck?
As I walk though the isles I noticed tons of fresh poultry, pork roasts and freshly baked breads and pastry items. I kept my fingers crossed as I approached the seafood aisle. I did not notice a unfriendly smell of old seafood but just the opposite, rows and rows of fresh seafood and shellfish. I was in luck.
I finally found my clams in a bag at the end of the seafood row stuck up in the corner on crushed ice. I asked the young gentleman behind the counter "what is the price of your clams"? He said " we do not have any clams the Chesapeake Bay is closed for clamming as of Monday"!
Wow, I am looking at a bag of the fresh clams just sitting there chilled on ice ready to be purchased and this guy is telling me they do not have any clams! I just had to look at him with that look, Uh, those clams right there!
Broiled Chesapeake Bay Clams, Lemon, EVOO. Oregano, Prosciutto
twenty four littleneck clams
eight cloves fresh garlic peeled and chopped
two medium size shallots, peeled and chopped
four tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
ten sprigs fresh oregano, remove leaves and chop
one lemon, quartered
one quarter pound Prosciutto, sliced thin
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the broiler to high and raise the rack to the highest level. In a small bowl mix together the garlic, shallots, oregano and extra virgin olive oil. Place the clams in a colander and rinse clean under cold running water. Open the clams with a clam knife, leaving them the sell intact if possible. Arrange the clams on a baking pan. Drizzle the all clams with a squeeze of the lemon and then season with salt and pepper. Top the clams with the shallot garlic mixture and then with the proscuittto.
Broil the clams until cooked through, about four to six minutes, depending on the distance from the broiler to the clams. When cooked place the baked clams on a serving dish and freshen with a little drizzle of olive oil and a touch of freshly squeezed lemon.