Littleneck Clams in Green Garlic and White Wine Sauce

As we all know, everything doesn’t always work out. This fact of life holds just as true in the kitchen. In fact, if I had a blog post for every time one of my dishes turned out to be an epic failure then I’d have way more than 1-2 posts a week! I used to be very dramatic when things didn’t go my way in the kitchen – I specifically recall the time where I tripped while putting muffins in the oven and the batter went everywhere and I ended up on the floor in tears. But now I know it’s better not to huff and puff; nothing good came out of my sitting on the floor having a temper tantrum. During this past weekend’s “disaster” I practiced keeping my cool and as a result brunch was not ruined.

Here’s a bit of background:

Saturday morning I woke up early and headed out to the Greenwich Farmers’ Market. I returned home pleased with my bounty of green garlic (with massive stalks!), sugar snap peas, mesclun greens and chives from Two Guys from Woodbridge, and a dozen Littleneck clams from Pepe’s Cream of the Crop.

I planned a nice brunch for the husband consisting of clams in a white wine sauce, eggs over easy, and mesclun with feta. Almost everything went according to plan, until the majority of clams didn’t open after cooking. Now, normally I buy more than a dozen to avoid this sort of disappointment but for whatever reason on Saturday I only purchased one little bag of clams. It was just so sad because the clams that did open were ridiculously good and the white wine sauce they were bathed in was equally amazing. What went wrong, I have no idea. I’ve used this method of cooking before with no issue, so I was pretty surprised with the results this time around. But instead of pouting too much, I sopped up the sauce with bread and held on to the leftovers to use over eggs and greens the next day. I’m glad I didn’t overreact and toss everything – this way the only things that went to waste were the unopened clams.

Grocery List

1 lb Littleneck clams

1 – 2 tbsp butter

1 green garlic bulb and stalk, chopped

1 shallot, diced

¼ – ½ cup dry white wine

1 heaping tablespoon of crème fraîche

Generous handful of parsley, chives for garnish

Bread for dipping

Salt and pepper to taste

How To

Heat the butter over medium heat in an 8 – 10 inch cast iron skillet. Then, sauté the shallot and green garlic until soft (roughly 3-5 minutes). Pour the white wine into the skillet and let reduce for about 5 minutes or so. Next, add in the crème fraîche and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When ready, add in the clams and cook until opened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and top off the clams with parsley and chives for garnish. Serve warm with bread for dipping.


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