When visiting my family back home on Long Island, my mom and I took a trip to one of our favorite specialty grocery stores. We were thrilled to find a bin of live lobsters priced at $5.99 per pound…amazing! We decided to make succulent steamed lobsters with the traditional corn on the cob and baked potato side dishes, but we needed the perfect appetizer to start the meal. My mom decided to add to the seafood theme by making her New Zealand Clam recipe, that is both simple and incredibly flavorful. The fresh squeezed orange juice brightens up the dish with its fresh, tangy flavor and the white wine and garlic just go together organically, especially with clams. Serve each guest a nice big bowl of clams with enough broth so that you can enjoy some with each bite and soak up the rest with bread.
Recipe Feeds about 4 People
- 2.5 Lbs of New Zealand Clams (They are about the size of a quarter)
- 4 Cloves of Garlic Minced
- ¼ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- ¾ Cup Dry White Wine
- ½ Cup Clam Juice
- The Juice of 1 Large Orange
- ½ Teaspoon Freshly Grated Orange Zest
- Dash of Black Pepper
- 1 Loaf of Bread (Italian Bread, French Baguette or Ciabata)
- Thoroughly clean each clam under cold water using a potato brush or paper towel to make sure there is no sand on them. Put them aside.
- Pour the Olive Oil into a large pot on medium low heat and heat it up slightly.
- Add the butter and allow it to melt.
- Put the garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes into the pot with the oil and sauté them until the garlic starts to brown slightly. (Do not let the garlic get to dark in color, this will give the dish a bitter taste)
- Once the garlic becomes very aromatic and browns slightly, add the clam juice, wine, orange juice, zest and pinch of pepper.
- Put the clams in the juice and cover the pot
- Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook the clams until they pop open on their own. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Once the clams open, gently stir them around in the broth so they absorb the flavors of the juice.
- While the clams are cooking, toast and slice the bread the way you like it.
- Spoon a nice helping of the clams into each serving bowl and pour a nice ladleful of broth over the clams.
- Serve with a piece of the toasted bread to soak up all the juices
- Sit back and listen to the “slurps” around you! Enjoy!
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