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Steamers

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  • mem53 Jul 21, 2008 01:50 PM
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I have recently been introduced to the wonderful world of steamers, and I am hooked! Where can I get a good bucket of steamers, in Boston or north? Does anyone know if Moulton's in Medford has them? Thanks all!

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  1. We just had some wonderful steamers in Maine but that report will be for the New England Board.

    Around here, we always order them at Jake's in Hull. I know that's south of Boston, but a comprehensive list would be great.

    1. While you wait for destination-worthy answers, I would suggest calling your local grocery with a decent fish counter or your local fish market.

      I would pick up a couple of pounds, soak briefly to remove grit, steam in a small amount of water until the shells open and the clams pull away a bit, stir, taste for doneness and chow down as is, with melted butter, or anything else to taste.

      The broth is excellent for swishing out any more grit, and is drinkable on its own. Fresh steamer clams from local fish counters can be very good, and provide an easy and delicious quick fix.

      If you mention your Boston-area location you should get some good local recommendations for cooking at home or eating out.

      Whatever you decide, call ahead.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowfamily

        Second to chowfamily, steamers are one of those things that are best at home. They are incredibly easy to steam - just don't over steam them as they get mushy - about 10-12 minutes should do it.
        Also, make sure they are fresh. I got some from Market Basket last week and they were old and mushy, not "bad" but not sweet.
        Once you have mastered steamers it is a quick jump to mussels which are also wonderful and addictive.
        And make sure you have plenty of cold beer!

        1. re: powerfulpierre

          10-15 minutes?
          should be more like 5-8 minutes or until they just start to open.
          but that's me, better undercooked than tough and over-cooked imo.

      2. Halfway Cafe has been a go to place for steamers for many years. I know it's not the original owners, but they are still good. Add a sprinkle of cornmeal to the soak and a little onion to the above recipe.

        1. steamers are one of the things i will order at Summer Shack, excellent.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ScubaSteve

            As a great variation I'm also very fond of their grilled clams with garlic butter.

          2. Turner's in Melrose has great steamers.

            1. I agree with truffle, and second the Halfway Cafe. Very fresh, always great. Ice cold beer.
              CocoDan

              7 Replies
              1. re: CocoDan

                Awesome steamers at Neptune Oyster on Sunday night. Perfect when accompanied with a piece of their crusty bread for dipping

                1. re: hoppinfrog

                  They have steamers on the menu now? Or was it a special?

                2. re: CocoDan

                  I wouldn't exactly say very fresh. Wife had a hankerin' for some steamers on Friday of last week, so we decided to check out the Halfway Cafe in Watertown. Good, not great, and all were kind of on the small size. I think it was $17 for 1.5 lbs or $25 for 3 lbs. But we liked it enough to head back if our mood was for bar food - wish they had better beer selection though, otherwise we would be regulars.

                  1. re: LStaff

                    When I buy steamers anywhere, which is fairly often as our whole family loves them, I always ask for the SMALLEST ones. They are the most tender - the bigger ones tend to be chewy and tougher. And yes, over 10 minutes of boiling is definitely too long, just cook until they all open.

                    btw, while white steamer clams are the norm (and the best imo) the brownish "mahogany clams" are usually much cheaper and quite a bargain if you're making them at home, the taste is nearly indistiguishable if you close your eyes.

                    EDIT (the mahogany clams are more like littlenecks, not steamers... sorry)

                    1. re: tbiscaia

                      glad you're taking the little ones because i like the larger sizes. for me they are easier to eat, cook and have a bigger belly.

                      1. re: tbiscaia

                        I'm with ScubaSteve on this one, I prefer the larger clams. In my too many years to count, of steaming 'em and butter drippin' down the ole chin I've never found them to be tougher than the smaller ones as long as they're all approximately the same size and you've adjusted your steaming time accordingly. The same rules apply for large vs. small lobsters, BTW.

                        Harp

                      2. re: LStaff

                        The steamers at the Halfway are, typically, pretty reliable.
                        You may have been a victim of the outsourcing from such exotic places as N.J. near the tail-end of the latest N.E. redtide outbreak. I would give them another shot when next there.

                        Harp

                    2. If you enjoy steamers, want to experiment with other delicious preparations, and can travel north, there is a fried clam crawl scheduled for this Friday which definitely sounds detour worthy. Details are at the top of the Boston board.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: chowfamily

                        Our local Shaws (otherwise not a family favorite) had steamers last night for $4.99/lb .

                        We scarfed down 2lbs. with minimal soaking. Cornmeal added to the soak is excellent, as suggested above.

                        After reading this post I was too greedy to wait, and the swish, swish in broth worked well.

                        1. re: chowfamily

                          $4.99 at Mullaney's Fish in Scituate last Fri..cornmeal soak..short steam..just til they open. I'm a fan of the larger ones.

                          Got some dead ones at the local Scituate supermarket for free (bait) but they were so disgusting that they became chum immediately..:)

                      2. Thanks to all for your suggestions- now I am inspired to try to make them at home this weekend! And if I follow InmanSQ Girl's instructions, I will finally be rid of the Bud Light cans, still in the fridge, someone brought to our BBQ in 2005!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mem53

                          If you steam them at home definitely slice up a Vidalia onion and throw it in the pan with an inch of water, and definitely do not cook them for more than 5 minutes. IMO the smaller ones are always best.