How to Clean Clams and Mussels
For your clam gumbo, never select clams or mussels that are already open, chipped, broken, or damaged in any way.
Make sure to immediately put them in fresh, clean water at home.
As the clams breathe they filter the clean water and the clams pushes the salt water and sand out of their shells.
After about 30 minutes, the clams will have cleaned themselves. Instead of pouring the clams and water into a strainer, pull the clams out of the water.
The sand has sunk to the bottom of the Zink, Once the clams have been soaked, use a firm brush and scrub off any additional sand, barnacles, or other attachments.
This is the same method used when cleaning mussels.
For this dish we need:
500g fresh clams, cleaned
250 ml beer of your liking
2 shallots, finely chopped
110g chopped garlic and ginger
2 -3 stalks of thyme
250 ml white wine or vegetable stock - I stick to the wine!
200 ml fresh herbs – thyme, chives, parsley, mustard & cress – all finely chopped.
75 – 100 g butter
Salt and black pepper
To give your Clam Gumbo that little bit of extra body, put the beer, wine, shallots, garlic and thyme stalks in a large pot and boil for about 5 minutes.
First melt the butter or margarine completely, then add the garlic juice. Stir and keep warm over low heat.
Add the clams and steam them for 3-5 minutes over a high heat.
Check the clams regularly until the shells have opened.
Be on the look-out for any shells that remain closed and discard.
Remove the clams from the broth, remove the shells and put the mussels into a small soup bowl.
Sieve the broth, add the chopped herbs and butter and boil for 5 minutes. Gently pour over the clams.
Serve this Clam Gumbo hot in the shell with garlic butterwith fresh crusty bread.
...and yes you guesed it, the wine...
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