There’s something special about summer get togethers. After a day spent on the beach, covered in sand and a thin layer of salt from the sea, nothing beats coming home, rinsing off, throwing on some flip flops, calling up a few friends and getting together to share stories, drinks and a communal bowl of seafood. And when that seafood is fresh Florida clams in a broth so rich and tangy and heady, filled with the sweet bitterness of beer and the scent of delightful aromatics just begging to be sopped up with a crusty baguette, you are destined for nothing short then the best night on earth.
This dish is easier to make than a ham sandwich. The lager, dijon mustard and fresh corn make it otherworldly delicious, while the red pepper flakes and butter combine for the perfect sweet and spicy background notes. Lemon and parsley are necessary components for almost all seafood feasting and they add a beautiful brightness to the overall dish. Beer, butter and clams. You really don’t need us to sell you on this. You’re already picturing it. You’re already seeing the smiles on your friends’ faces as they slurp down these fresh littlenecks and soak up that beautiful broth just waiting to be devoured at the bottom of the bowl.
This dish doesn’t just scream summer, it IS summer. Throw in some fresh herbs, put on some beachy tunes, admire your new tan lines and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
Beer & Butter Steamed Clams
serves 4 as an appetizer
3-4 dozen clams
1 12-oz light lager that you love
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
4 tablespoons butter
pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup fresh corn
1 lemon, sliced into rings and seeds discarded
fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Place clams in a colander and rinse. Set colander in a large bowl and fill with water, let clams soak for 15 minutes. Remove colander and discard dirty water. Scrub each clam really well, discarding any broken or open clams.
Combine beer, garlic, onion, mustard, butter, and red pepper in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Add clams and corn, cover and cook until clams have opened, about 10 minutes. Discard any unopened clams. Stir in lemon and garnish with parsley. Serve with amazing, crusty bread.