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Beer-Steamed Soft-Shell Clams

Hands-on time 25 mins
Total time 2 hrs, 10 mins
Yield 8 servings (serving size: about 6 clams)
For a charcoal grill, simply toss the wood on the coals just as you begin to cook--no need for a foil pan. Make sure the pan you choose for the clams will fit inside your grill. If soft-shell clams aren't available, scrubbed littleneck clams will also work in the recipe, and they don't require soaking in cornmeal--check for doneness after 10 minutes. Serve with strained steaming liquid or heated clam broth to dunk the clams in for one last rinse, then dip in Butter Sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups wood chips
  • 2 pounds soft-shell clams
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces room temperature medium-bodied beer, such as pale ale
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Butter Sauce

Nutrition Information

  • calories 36
  • fat 0.3 g
  • satfat 0.0 g
  • monofat 0.0 g
  • polyfat 0.1 g
  • protein 4.6 g
  • carbohydrate 3.3 g
  • fiber 0.1 g
  • cholesterol 11 mg
  • iron 4.8 mg
  • sodium 95 mg
  • calcium 23 mg

How to Make It

  1. Soak wood chips in water for 1 hour; drain.

  2. Place clams in sink, and cover with cool water. Rinse clams well, rubbing together to dislodge grit, and drain. Repeat until water is clear. Drain clams. Place in a large bowl, and cover clams with cold water. Stir in cornmeal and salt. Refrigerate and soak for 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

  4. Remove grill rack; set aside. Pierce the bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife. Place pan directly on heat element on bottom of grill; add wood chips to pan. Place grill rack on grill. Arrange clams in a grill-safe roasting pan, large shallow baking pan, or sturdy disposable foil pan. Pour beer and 1 cup warm water over clams; arrange garlic and lemon over clams. Place pan on grill; cover grill, and cook 15 minutes. Stir clams. Cover grill, and cook 5 minutes or until clams open. Discard any unopened shells.

  5. Sustainable Choice: Lobsters & Steamers. Lobsters trapped off waters near the Northeast U.S. and Canada are smart options, as are wild-caught or farmed soft-shell clams.