Do you ever get overwhelmed thinking about what to make for dinner? Deciding whether it will be tasty, sustainable and healthy is becoming more and more complicated. Not to mention is it all safe? Shellfish are one of those miracle foods that are not only sustainable, tasty and healthful they are extremely easy to prepare once you learn the tricks to cleaning and steaming them! Not to mention how affordable they can be.
This article by Barry Estabrook entitled Politics of the Plate: Clam Up makes one want to eat clams almost every week because one can help American producers and the environment with out sacrificing on flavor:
Due to excess production and a decline in the number of clams Americans eat, Massachusetts clams are now worth only 17 cents and have to compete with 9-cent imported clams from Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia. With rising costs, some farmers are no longer able to stay in business. One of the hurdles Rheault hopes to overcome is that clams tend to be bi-coastal delicacies. “We have to get word out to people in the heartland who have never tried a clam because they think it’s yucky,” he said. “It’s nutritious, particularly when everyone’s looking for more Omega-3s. And it’s delicious.”
Calms have a deep briny flavor, and when complimented with homemade black bean sauce it gives you a tremendously flavorful dish with little effort. It is important to use smaller clams like little neck or manila in this dish because the larger clams can be tough. In the summer I love to garnish it with minced fresh basil, cilantro, chives or even mint. Whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. Check out the recipe here: Clams with Black Bean Sauce.
Some other simple clam dishes: