WRAL reporter Brian Shrader and our own Lisa Prince feature seasonal recipes in their weekly Local Dish Cooking segment. This month Brian and Lisa featured three delicious ways to serve up North Carolina clams.
Clams are in season year round in North Carolina. Ask your local grocery store if they carry fresh N.C. clams, or visit the online seafood directory.
This first recipe is for a reliable and classic way to make clams. “It’s stuffed clams, you can’t go wrong,” said Lisa. She suggest serving with lemon wedges, or place mixture in a serving dish and then serve with toast points or crackers.
- 12 large shell N.C. clams
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 3⁄4 cup sweet onion, chopped
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped (we used Baby Bella)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Dash of pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 cup Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing mix
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
Shuck clams and chop the clam meat. Wash shells thoroughly and set aside. Place ¼ cup butter in a medium-size skillet and melt on medium-high heat. Once melted, add the onion and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5-6 minutes or until tender. Blend in the flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Add the clams and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Combine stuffing mix with melted butter and then add the parsley. Stir the clam mixture with the stuffing mixture. Fill 12 well-greased clam shells and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until browned.
Next up is a clam dish that can be served as a main dish or appetizer. “Don’t be afraid of clams,” said Brian. “They are so easy.”
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 thyme branch
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 cup dry N.C. white wine (optional)
- 40 cherry stone clams
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 cans low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 medium onion, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1⁄2 cup dry N.C. white wine, optional
- 1⁄2 cup reserve clam liquid
- 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1⁄2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
Add butter and oil to a large Dutch oven and heat on medium until butter is melted. Add garlic, shallot and thyme stirring until the garlic and thyme are fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds. Add capers, wine, 1 cup wine (2 cups water if not using wine) and bring to a simmer. Increase heat to medium-high and add clams. Cover and cook just until clams open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard unopened clams. Spoon off ½ cup clam juice broth to be used in the risotto recipe at the end. Place clams around the plated risotto and garnish with bacon.
In a small saucepan, combine broth with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and keep at a bare simmer. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice, and cook stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add wine (optional), and cook, stirring occasionally, until absorbed; 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups hot broth; simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until mostly absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Continue adding broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, 20-25 minutes total (you may not need all the broth). Add reserved clam juice broth and simmer. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Then gently add the tomatoes. Place in center of bowl and top with cooked spicy clams.
Chef Keith Rhodes, owner of Catch Restaurant in Wilmington, shared this delicious recipe with Lisa. She has made it as an appetizer for friends and as a meal for family. Serve with warm crusty French bread for dipping in the broth.
1 can coconut milk
1 can dry N.C. white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound N.C. Littleneck clams
1⁄2 cup minced shallots
1 1⁄2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, julienned
1 pound N.C. deveined shrimp
2 tablespoons lime juice
1⁄3 cup slivered fresh basil leaves, cilantro & mint
1⁄3 cup thinly sliced green onions
Pour the coconut milk, wine and olive oil into a large skillet or heavy bottom stock pot, add the clams, cover and steam the clams for about five minutes until they open. Add in the shallots, garlic, ginger and simmer for a minute or so. Add in the shrimp and simmer until the shrimp are cooked. Add in the lime juice and herbs. Pour into a large bowl for sharing, garnish with green onions and serve.