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Aug 4, 2006 06:32 PM

CLAMS at home?

We don't usually see Clams around Southern California but for some reason, this week the supermarket has them on special. Cherrystone Clams for $1.99 lb, Little Neck Clams $2.99, Manila Steamers for $4.99..........

I guess if I want "Steamed Clams" I need to spring for the expensive "Manila Steamers"? If so, what can I do with the cheaper Cherrystone Clams, are those for chowder or dips or something?

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  1. get the cherrystones and make linguine with clams..... one of my all time favorite dishes. There have been several recipes posted on here before, some with pictures, but the key thing is to finish cooking the pasta in the clam broth......

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheapskate

      Oh! Me too!

      Have you seen Clotilde's risotto method of cooking pasta on Chocolate & Zucchini? I used that the last time I made pasta in white clam sauce and used the clam liquor in cooking the pasta. It was sensational and had a thickness from the pasta starch that made the broth cling more effectively to the pasta. It was excellent!

    2. I have made "steamed clams" out of cherry stones and little necks, as well as Manilas.

      Cherrystones have very heavy shells compared to Manilas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Alan408

        Get the manilas if you just want them for steaming. Cherrystones have a good flavor, but can get tough much more easily than Manilas will. Plus, Alan is right that cherrystones are very very heavy. The meat's not much bigger than a large Manila but the shell is easily four times as heavy. At those prices, I would get the Manilas.

      2. asian supermarkets always have clams and at a great price...there is always a great selection at asian supermarkets in terms of seafood... not sure why all the other places are usually expensive or the selection is extremely small.

        cherrystone are good for eating raw with cocktail sauce, chowders usually contain a mixture of clams, but generally the tougher clams mixed with little necks. cherrystones are great to just steam in their own juices, baked dishes, etc. in general, i think on the west coast, manilla clams are favored as they are cultivated in washington in higher #s than other varieties

        1 Reply
        1. re: mabziegurl

          I agree... I've had better luck with Clams at 99 Ranch than the ones we paid 3x the price for at Santa Monica Seafood...

          What I do is really simple. Gently Sautee LOTS of garlic in butter and olive oil in a big pot. When the garlic is soft, then place the clams heads up in the pot. Then pour in a nice white wine (I like riesling to help bring out the sweetness of the clams) and a handful of flat leaf parsley (I also like how it looks clinging on the shells, like seaweed! Then turn up the heat, clamp on the lid and in a few minutes they all pop open ready to be served atop of pasta or even better just as is with LOTS Of crusty bread! :)


        2. It all depends on the size. Cherrystones are smaller than littlenecks. At least thats the sizing system here in NYC- North East. They should be no more than 1 1/2 to 2 in. across at the widest point. If they're larger then they are littlenecks. Not much difference in taste just the texture (tough vs tender) with the smaller the clam the more tender under light cooking it will be. For the smaller clams you can eat them well chilled and raw (on the half shell) Or they make an excellent pasta with white clam sauce. Or you can just bake them in the authentic Italian way by removing top shell and sprinkling a mixture of breadcrumb, minced garlic, parmesan cheese, oregano and salt and pepper. After sprinkling the clams with this, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over top and place under a preheated
          broiler just until the tops get golden AND NO MORE! For the clam sauce you'd add the clams at the end of cooking and only for about 2 minutes or until they just start to firm up. Over cooking these clams destroys the sweet flavor and toughens them. For the large clams( called Quahogs in New England) they are good for stuffing and for dips and chowders . Thet get chopped up and added to the stuffing, chowder, dip etc.

          1. My Dad always used to make us Clams Casino...steam the cherrystone clams until opened. Then top with finely chopped green pepper, bacon, onions and mozzarella cheese. Place under the broil just until the cheese this day still one of my favorites!!