Unforgettable Littlenecks

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Author:  Josh Latham
Portion:  6 clams & ¼ pasta
Num Portions:  4
Prep time:  01:30 mins
Cook time:  00:30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Unforgettable Ale (substitution: Belgian Style Pale Ale)
  • 24 each Littleneck Clams
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Confit (recipe below)
  • 1/2 each Sweet Onion (Diced)
  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme
  • 2 each Fresh Scallions
  • 1 each Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 each Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 lb Linguini
Directions:
  1. Wash the littlenecks with a clean stiff bristled hand brush or a new sponge to remove the grit (NO SOAP. The liquid that you cook the littlenecks in will become the sauce. The taste of the soap will permeate through the entire dish if any gets on the shells of the clams). If any are cracked, broken, or do not close when tapped THROW THEM OUT!! Dead clams can cause you to become seriously ill.
  2. After scrubbing the littlenecks soak them in cold salted tap water for about an hour on the counter. This will help purge some of the grit contained within the clam.
  3. Add the linguini to a pot of boiling salted water
  4. Put the garlic confit, onion, thyme, salt and pepper into your saucepan and sweat the onions until they become translucent, but do not take on any color
  5. Add the littlenecks, and toss them about a bit to coat them with the onions and confit. Then add the Unforgettable Ale, bay leaf, and cover. Pour the rest of the ale into a waiting glass.
  6. Watch your clams and remove them from the pan as they open. Some will take longer than others. If there are a few that do not open after 5 minutes longer than it takes the others to open odds are good that they are dead or filled with sand, be safe and throw them away.
  7. After all of the clams have been removed from the liquid, remove the bay leaf and add the fresh squeezed lemon juice and sugar. Turn off the heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  8. Serve 6 clams to a plate on top of the linguini then spoon some of the sauce over everything, being sure to get a bit in each of the clamshells.
  9. Snip fresh scallions onto the top of each plate and serve immediately.

Comments:

I like to add roasted vegetables to the dish as well. Go to your local farmers market and talk to each of the vendors to see what they have that is fresh and unique. In the picture I used globe squash, kentucky beans, yellow jeweled cherry tomatoes and fresh banana peppers. A nice piece of crostini will help to soak up the residual sauce left on the plate afterwards.

Garlic Confit, quite simply is just fancy garlic butter. Melt 1 lb of butter and put it in an oven safe dish, add to it about 30 cloves of garlic and some spices. I like a blend of dried oregano, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Cook in a 350°F oven for about an hour until the garlic begins to brown and soften. Put the mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth then place it in the fridge. In about 30 minutes take it out of the fridge and stir it together. As it chills the garlic will sink while the butter rises. You want a homogeneous mixture. Use the confit as you would normal butter.

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