Mussels vs. Clams
I love seafood - almost all seafood. I've tried all types of shrimp, crabs, lobster, crayfish, all types of fish, oysters, clams, mussels, squid, octopus, and probably some I don't remember with sushi/sashimi. My problem is I really don't like mussels - I can eat a few but that's about it. I see all these wonderful steamed mussel recipes - I would love to try the recipes but I'd like to use clams instead. I think this would be fine with the recipes I've seen - which are basic steamed recipes with broth, herbs, etc. Any opinions?
Which do you prefer? And why?
I prefer mussels, but that's really due to availability - clams are hard to come by here. My favourite way of doing mussels is to saute some leeks, shallots and garlic in butter until soft. Add some dry white wine and the mussels and steam for 8-10 minutes until shells are opened. Simple and delicious.
Like you, I tolerate a couple of mussels, but love clams. i have found you can make almost any mussel recipe by substituting clams, PROVIDED you use clams at least 2.5 inches in shell diameter. Baby clams do not hold up to some of the hearty mussel recipes such as in a pot of 'red' sauce. Generally I use cherrystones.
I like them both, but with clams, I just want plain New England steamers, dipped first in clam broth then in butter.
With mussels, I want wine, garlic, parsley, butter, lemon (or whatever kind of broth) and a half a baguette or fries to go with it.
On their own, mussels taste a bit flavorless to me, so the bells and whistles compliments them. Clams don't need as much.
Jeanne - maybe it's some kind of genetic makeup thing. I'm completely like you in that I love seafood of most any kind. Grew up on the east coast, and dinner was seafood three nights a week at least. I eat it all, and love it all. I love both mussels and clams, and can put away dozens of both, but, I can only eat a few scallops. Scallops just don't work for me at ALL. For some reason, they are very strong tasting to me - even though I know that most ppl consider them very light. I know when they are fresh, I can pick fresh fish like nobody's business, I know how to cook them right - I just don't like em at all - very strong tasting to me. after two or three, I'm done. I've given up, and just stick to what I like - which is essentially everything else.
Use clams - you'll be fine.
Mussels - but that's because it's what I'm used to. Mussels are easily available (and grown only a couple of hours away) but clams are about as rare as hen's teeth.