You’ve probably heard of clams, the New England summer feast of fresh shellfish, corn on the cob, potatoes and onions. Although lesser known, New England clams cook almost identically to clams. Come learn this easy clam boil recipe!
Seafood boils have been around for a long time and originated in Louisiana. People will boil seafood almost as an excuse for a community to come together. Seafood cooked rice is delicious, easy to make and usually feeds a lot of people! And the clam boil recipe is also very simple to make, come and learn!
5 ESSENTIAL CLAM COOKING INGREDIENTS
Yes, clam boils include clams. I know, shocked! These are usually soft shell clams (steamers) and/or hard shell clams, usually small neck clams.
Small to medium waxy potatoes that hold their shape when boiled are best. Red potatoes, new potatoes, fingerlings, Yukon Gold potatoes, and purple potatoes are all great. Avoid russet potatoes that tend to fall apart when cooked.
Onions are probably the most underrated part of a clam boil. Similar to potatoes, you will need small to medium sized onions. Yellow and red onions are great. Whichever you choose, make sure the onions are fresh.
4. Corn on the cob
Fresh local summer corn is always best, which is one of the many reasons why clams are usually held during the warmer months. But sometimes indoor winter clam cooking is just as good!
This is one of my favorite cooked parts of Portuguese clams! The spicy, crunchy crunch of the juicy Portuguese sausage, followed by a sip of salty clams and clam juice is a must-experience triple of flavours.
PORTUGUESE NEW ENGLAND CLAM BOIL RECIPE – INGREDIENTS
FOR THE BROTH
- 1/4 cup olive oil more, if needed
- 1 large yellow onion roughly diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 to 8 garlic cloves diced
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 quart fish stock or water
- 1 quart clam broth
- 1 lemon sliced into 4 or 5 rings
FOR THE REST OF THE BOIL
- 6 to 8 small to medium potatoes quartered or halved
- 2 garlic heads unpeeled, cut in half crosswise
- 4 to 6 corn on the cob cut in halves or thirds
- 4 to 6 links chourico or linguica cut into thirds
- 6 to 8 small to medium onions cut in half lengthwise or quartered
- 8 pounds clams any combo of littlenecks and/or steamers, rinsed and scrubbed clean
SEASONINGS AND ACCOMPANIMENTS, TO TASTE
- Generous gobs of butter melted and served in small dipping bowls
- clam broth served in small dipping bowls
- 2-3 whole lemons cut into wedges
- bread of your choice optional
- Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the diced onions and saute for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the diced garlic, paprika, pepper flakes, and fennel seeds and saute 1 more minute, stirring frequently. Add a little more olive oil, if necessary.
- Add the wine and apple cider vinegar and simmer for a few minutes.
- Add the water, clam broth and lemon slices and bring to a boil.
- Add the potatoes, reduce the heat slightly, cover, and boil for 7 to 8 minutes.
- Add garlic heads and corn and boil for another 5 minutes.
- Add the sausage and onions and boil for another 5 minutes.
- Add the clams and boil for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the shells open.
- Scoop or ladle ingredients into several large serving bowls or transfer everythign to a large table lined with disposable paper.
- Serve with the seasonings and accompaniments.