Now here's an easy and simple recipe that takes steamers (steamed clams) to a whole new level by replacing the water that is ordinarily used to steam the clams with a bottle of dry white wine. I used an entire bottle of Riesling I had on hand, and the steamers became a food of elegance. What could be nicer than seafood and wine.
But I still have to chuckle, because there's no way to eat these elegantly as there is still some picking about with the fingers, the discarding of shells, and the dripping of butter as one attempts to pop these wonderful mollusks into the mouth. I think no matter how much you dress these up, it is still a food that is best eaten at home with family and friends.
Clams Steamed in White Wine
There's really no recipe, just a method. I made these for me, but the recipe can be scaled up if you are serving more people. There's no right or wrong, just personal preference.
Start out with a couple pounds of fresh clams (discarding any clams that are open). Rinse and drain the clams in salted water a couple of times to remove any sand that might be remain in the shells).
In a lobster pot (if you have one, otherwise, a stew pot or dutch oven, depending on how much you're making), add a liter of wine, a whole peeled onion, three or four cloves of garlic, some peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves. Add the clams, cover and bring to a boil. Steam for about 10 minutes and then lift the lid to take a little look-see. If the clams have all opened, the clams are done. If the shells remain closed, boil a little longer. If only a few remain closed, remove them from the pot, discard, and serve the rest.
If you're of a mind to, strain the broth (because there will be sand) and serve alongside in small bowls; dip the steamers into the broth to rinse off any objectionable remnants of sand and sea and then remove the grey-black rubbery tissue that covers the neck (you'll likely need your fingers for this). Dunk into hot melted butter (perhaps with a little lemon added) and pop into your eager mouth. Enjoy!