Fresh Clams a Duet Worlds Apart

“It is not a matter of indifference whether we like oysters or clams, snails or shrimp, if only we know how to unravel the existential significance of these foods.”
Jean-Paul Satre, French existentialist philosopher. (1905-1980)

clams-duetThe best thing to do with fresh clams comes down to two opinions in my mind, nothing or as little as possible so one can savor the sweet and salty fresh from the sea.  Splashes of updated mignonette style flavors are my favorite taste tests.
I had about 3 dozen fresh clams and two recipes that I wanted to try one is from Jacques Pepin and other from Chef Morimoto, both really easy, equally good, perfect for another chilly night and certainly hard to choose a favorite.  The clams are not raw by any means steamed until the just pop open sauced and ready to serve.  I made one steaming liquid ahead of time, Morimoto suggests steaming liquid made with sake, garlic and a touch of butter so I saw no reason to deviate for both recipes, but I did sprinkle in a bit of Japanese pepper seasoning and I don’t think Jacques would be the least bit bothered.

Jacques’ sauce suggests 3 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons EVOO, splashes of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup chopped scallions, optional chopped chives and a grind of pepper…drizzle over some of the steamed clams on the half shell.
Moritmoto’s clams, drizzle steaming liquid over clams…serve with additional chopped scallions and Japanese pepper.

Just before serving I added tiny pinches of pepper melange over all because I love pepper!  Not necessary though. Clams gone in minutes!