My Favorite Steamers

Spring, summer, fall or winter, these are my favorite steamers!

On July 4th the sun finally arrived.   It was a glorious day.  We have a joke around these parts, summer begins day after 4th of July because that’s usually when our sunny weather arrives.  This year we got summer one day early.  A happy day. 
I love spending as much time as possible (without doing yard work) outside in this beautiful weather.  So dinner ends up being served outside on the deck most summer nights.  Sounds nice doesn’t it?  Well… it’s also because with the sunshine comes warm weather, and it usually gets to warm to eat in the house.  My little mountain cottage did not come with central AC.  Not that we’d need it.
Yesterday, I spotted fresh littleneck clams at Gemini Fish Market. That was it, my mind was made up.  We were having steamers for dinner.  What a simple and simply delicious dinner to serve outside on the deck.  I paired the yummy steamers with warm rosemary artisan bread for dunking and then grilled some romaine halves for a little greens with our dinner.  

Grilled Romaine Salad

Yep, got to have those greens with dinner or I’ll be sure to hear Ranger Craig say… do we have any greens with dinner?   And you all thought he only asked for sauce. 🙂
My Favorite Steamers

Serves 2 (can be doubled)

Substitution: Wine can be substituted with seafood stock, fish stock or clam juice.


2-3 lbs Fresh littleneck or manilla clams, washed, scrubbed and rinsed in cool water

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, small diced or 2 medium leeks chopped

8-10 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1-2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh oregano

1 sprig fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped chives (optional)

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 cup dry white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

Squeeze of fresh lemon


In a large stock pot heat the butter over medium high heat until melted and frothy.  Add the onion and sauté until translucent and then add the garlic and sauté a minute longer. 

Toss in the fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, sprinkle in a little salt and pepper and then add the clams.  Coat the clams with the herb mixture and then add the white wine.  Let the wine come to a boil, and then turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. 

Let the clams steam in the broth for about 5 minutes then lift the lid to check the clams.  When all the clams have opened they are done.  It can take 5-10 minutes to cook all the clams, depending on the size of the stock pot.  Toss them around in the broth and check for seasoning.  Pour them into a large serving bowl and top with a squeeze of fresh lemon. 

Serve with crusty fresh bread for dipping. 

Options:  Add in 1/2 lb of chorizo with the onions and garlic.  It’ll really kick up the spicy flavors so you won’t need to add the red pepper flakes.

Add in whatever fresh herbs you like.  Lemongrass would be nice, and maybe rosemary.  But be careful with rosemary as it can be overpowering to the broth. 

Recipe Idea: Another idea is to serve these clams over a spaghetti or linguini pasta.  My daughter likes to take a few tablespoons of melted butter and pan sear about 1/4 cup bread crumbs in the butter until toasty.  Then she mixes in her cooked spaghetti and pours the clams and broth over the buttered spaghetti!  Divine!!!  Top with grated parmesan and fresh chopped parsley.



  1. Hi Gypsy Cook! Grilled romaine is so yummy and very easy to grill. I’ve grilled it over a gas grill, a Weber and I’ve also used my grill pan indoors. It tastes best over a Weber or gas grill, but the grill pan does the job, just without that little trace of smoky flavor. Still delicious! Enjoy!

  2. I’ve never tried grilled romaine, but I really want to. Any advice? Can you do it on the stove top or is an outdoor gas grill best?

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