Last weekend, in glorious sunshine, Russ did a demo at the Dorset Seafood Festival. Centred around Weymouth harbour, the festival is a celebration of all things fishy and although squid was on the menu for the demo, we took the opportunity to hand out our very first piece of official marketing material for the Well Seasoned book.
This recipe for razor clams features in the book's February chapter but you might still be able to find some clams on your fishmonger's slab, so we thought we'd share it with you.
Enjoy (and keep an eye on the blog for more sneaky previews as we approach March 2018)!
RAZOR CLAMS WITH HERB CRUMB, LEMON AND PARSLEY BUTTER
These are a little fiddly to prepare but for this particular recipe all the prep can be done in advance so it will take the pressure off! Once the clams are steamed open, the meat will pull easily from the shell and the inedible parts can be cut away. Lay the clam flat on the board with the rounder end to the left, cut this off close to the dark sac. Lift the frilly wing up and slice off the cylindrical piece of meat with the pointed end. Now trim the wing away from the dark sac. Scrape off any odd bits of sand as you go. Now the meat can be sliced into half centimetre pieces ready to use. If you're unsure at any point, the internet has plenty of useful videos on fish and shellfish preparation.
Serves 4 as a starter
For the clams
1kg live razor clams, thoroughly washed
75ml white wine
For the butter
50g unsalted butter
½ lemon, grated zest only
1 dsp lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
reduced clam cooking liquid
1 dsp chopped flat leaf parsley
For the crumb
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove of garlic, smashed
40g day old bread, preferably a rustic loaf, torn into pieces.
1 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
Before you start cooking the clams, have a roasting tin of ice ready to chill them as soon as they are cooked.
To cook the clams, heat a large casserole or sauté pan that has a tight fitting lid. When really hot, drop in the clams and pour in the wine. Put the lid on immediately and steam over a high heat for 1 minute until the clams are open. Use tongs to drop the clams onto the ice. Pass the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a small clean pan and reduce until syrupy. Allow to cool. Prepare the clams as described above and then chill the sliced meat for a few minutes.
Beat the butter together with the lemon zest, juice and a few grinds of pepper. Gradually beat in the clam cooking liquid, checking for seasoning as you go. The liquid will be salty so stop when the butter is well seasoned. Add the parsley and mix in the clam flesh.
Select eight of the largest and best looking shells, give them a scrub and then place in a pan of water and bring to the boil to sterilise. Drain and dry off. Allow to cool.
For the crumb, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan and add the garlic. Cook, turning frequently, to make a garlicky oil. Don't let the garlic go beyond golden or it will start to take on some bitter notes. Blitz the bread with the parsley, garlic and oil to make coarse breadcrumbs.
Fill the clam shells with the buttery clam meat and top with the breadcrumbs, grill under a hot grill for 2 minutes until bubbling and golden. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and bread for mopping up the juices.