Monday, June 4, 2012

Campfire Clams

…or so they were intended to be. A special weekend with my nephew was set to start off with a night of camping in Gaithersburg until the violent t-storms and tornado warnings and watches came through! Kyle was a good sport about setting up camp in the basement instead where, fortunately, my sister and brother-in-law have a full kitchen. So while I wound up making one of Kyle’s favorites, littleneck clams, on the stove, the recipe works well on a campfire grate or camping stove. It started out with sautéing garlic and Kyle was quick to step up as my sous chef once he saw my camping cook pot has a nifty grabber as a handle.




I figured clams with butter broth along with some blanched beans would be a good one-bowl meal for camping but as an aunt I was a bit naive. I later learned that the butter business is more appealing to little ones when it’s served on the side as a ‘dipping sauce.’ So I wrote the recipe the way I make it for myself, but recommend offering SOS, sauce on the side if you’re cooking and camping with kids! At least he said I make the best garlic bread in the world : )


Campfire Clams

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Keep dishes to a minimum and take a break from burgers on your next camping trip with steamed littlenecks swimming in lemon butter clam broth.


50 littleneck clams
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp butter
1 large lemon, juiced
1-2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsely, chopped


Before heading out to camp:
- rinse/ scrub clams and keep on ice
- mince garlic and combine with the olive oil (keep cold and only do 1 day ahead)
- chop parsley

At camp:
- have a large bowl or individual bowls and tongs handy
- place cook pot on stove or campfire grate and add garlic and oil
- when garlic is softened pull the pot from heat for 1 minute, then add the water and return to heat
- when water and garlic mix is steaming add the clams and cover
- leave alone for 1-2 minutes and then check for any opening clams
- as clams open, remove them to the large bowl or individual bowls
- once all of the clams are cooked stir the butter into the clam broth in the bottom of the pot and squeeze in lemon juice; taste and possibly season, but the clam juice should be quite salty on its own
- add the parsley and pour broth over the clams, or serve on the side


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