Ocracoke Clams a la Kimberly. And a recipe for clam risotto to boot.

We cooked the clams and they were fabulous  I didn’t have a recipe so I just made it up.

I used one pan and one pot with a lid that also functions as a frying pan with a one inch depth.   I sliced up onions and garlic and celery and carrots, which we had on hand, and sauteed them in olive oil in the lid/ pan to our only large pot.,  It’s the greatest thing, something I inherited from my mother, who kept it up in Sun Valley.  It’s a big, blue, enamled pot with a strainer and a lid that doubles as a frying pan, and it is about 30 years old.   We use it all the time.   I’ll have to take a picture of it and post it.

Into the other pan, a fairly deep Calphaalon sauce pan that you could cook soup in or sauté vegetables or even scramble eggs, I put all the trimmings–the ends of the carrots, their skins, the onion skins, the garlic bits, and the parts of the celery that didn’t look very appetizing  That all got boiled, then strained so that the juices ran into the big pot that I had filled with clams,  I threw the solids away. Remember now that I was using two pans.   In the “frying pan” that was actually the lid for the big pot that was now full of clams, I poured a lot of wine after the onions and garlic and celery got soft and clear.  After boiling that down for a little bit, I poured it into the pot with the clams, and set it to boil.  When all the clams had opened, about 10 minutes later, I served them up, with a generous portion of chopped parsley and lemon.  And here is what they looked like, below.

Clams a la Kimberly
Clams a la Kimberly

I offered this meal of our labor with a bottle of rosé, fruity but dry.  After we had eaten  as many clams as we could stuff down, I shucked the leftover clams and put them and the remaining broth with some water into the big pot and set it to boil. I threw some more chopped onion and garlic with olive oil into the other, “frying” pan, and, when the garlic and onion had grown translucent, threw in about two cups of rice, basmati or whatever it was, and stirred until it was coated with oil.  Then I added half-cups of broth to the mix, one at a time, stirring over a medium-high heat until the liquid was absorbed, until the rice was soft enough to eat.  Bits of onion and carrot and celery and parsley studded the risotto, and the final product was chewy and soft and fragrant and whole in the mouth, rich and robust and satisfying.  We ate a bit of it and bagged up the rest, a delicious side dish for the shrimp or flounder, that we’ll pick up tomorrow, fresh caught, because that is what you can get here in Oriental!

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Author: Kimberly Latta, Ph.D.

Psychotherapist, writer, artist, and independent feminist scholar.

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